Hofstad Group

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The Hofstadgruppe (also Hofstadnetzwerk , Dutch Hofstadgroep or Hofstadnetwerk ) is an Islamist group of mainly young Dutch Muslims mostly of Moroccan descent.

The name "Hofstad" was originally the code name of the Dutch secret service AIVD for a certain group of people who eventually got into the media. The name refers to the nickname of the city of The Hague ( Hofstad , also "Hofstadt" or "courtly city", identifies The Hague as the seat of the Dutch royal family ), where some members live, although the AIVD denies this.

Links to other networks in Spain and Belgium are attributed to the group. Among their contacts is Abdeladim Akoudad (also known as Naoufel), one of the suspects in the Casablanca attacks in 2003. The group is influenced by the worldview of the at-Takfir wa-l-Higra , a Salafi movement from Egypt. Redouan al-Issar, also known as "the Syrian", is the alleged religious leader of the group. The network was best known for the murder of Theo van Gogh by Hofstad member Mohammed Bouyeri , who was sentenced to life imprisonment for it. Samir Azzouz, who is suspected of planning attacks on the Dutch parliament , Schiphol Airport and the Borssele nuclear power plant , is also credited with close ties to the Hofstad group, but he was never prosecuted for membership.


The AIVD named the group "Hofstad Network" in autumn 2002 for internal purposes. This name was first used publicly by the Dutch Public Prosecutor's Office on November 10, 2004, after a police raid in the Antheunisstraat , a street in the Laakkwartier ( Laak district ) in The Hague.

On October 14, 2003, Samir Azzouz, Ismail Akhnikh, Jason Walters and Redouan al-Issar were arrested for planning terrorist attacks in the Netherlands, but were released a little later.

Shortly after the November 2004 murder of Theo van Gogh by Bouyeri, the organization gained media attention when an attempt to arrest alleged members Jason Walters and Ismail Akhnikh resulted in a 14-hour siege of a house in The Hague. During these events the name "Hofstad Group" became public and the media continually used the nickname. In the months following the siege, a number of suspected membership suspects were arrested. On December 5, 2005, the trial of 14 alleged members began.

Legal proceedings

On March 10, 2006, the Rotterdam court met in a monitored courtroom in Amsterdam - Osdorp and produced the following verdicts for members of the Hofstad group:

  • Jason Walters - 15 years in prison
  • Ismail Akhnikh - 13 years imprisonment
  • Nouredine el Fahtni - 5 years imprisonment
  • Yousef Ettoumi - 1 year
  • Zine Labidine Aourghe - 18 months
  • Mohammed Fahmi Boughabe - 18 months
  • Mohamed el Morabit - 2 years
  • Ahmed Hamdi - 2 years

Mohammed Bouyeri was already serving a life sentence and could not receive additional punishment. Jermaine Walters was exonerated of threatening former Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali .

Jermaine Walters, Nadir Adarraf, Rachid Belkacem, Mohamed El Bousklaoui and Zakaria Taybi were acquitted.

On January 23, 2008, The Hague Court of Appeals dismissed the judgments, downgraded some sentences and acquitted five of the suspects on the grounds that there was no evidence found of the existence of the terrorist group publicly called the Hofstad Group. As a result, on October 2, 2008, at the request of the public prosecutor's office, an appeals court imposed increased sentences against four members of the group or those who were sympathetic to the group.

  • Jason Walters - 15 years in prison
  • Ismail Akhnikh - 15 months in prison
  • Nourredine el Fahtni - acquittal, sentenced to eight years in prison on October 2, 2008.
  • Yousef Ettoumi - acquittal
  • Zine Labidine Aourghe - 18 months
  • Mohammed Fahmi Boughabe - acquittal
  • Mohamed el Morabit - acquittal
  • Ahmed Hamdi - acquittal
  • Samir A., ​​contact person for the Hofstad group, sentence increased to nine years by the court of appeal from October 2nd.
  • Saoumi F., ex-wife of Nourredine, sentenced to four years imprisonment instead of three on October 2, 2008.
  • Mohammed C., sentence increased from 2 to 6 years on October 2, 2008.

On February 2, 2010, the Supreme Court, the High Council of the Netherlands , overturned the judgment of January 23, 2008, according to which there was no terrorist group. The acquittals were overturned and the cases concerned were renegotiated.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Terrorism and radicalization in the Netherlands heise.de, March 9, 2005
  2. The 'Hofstad' trial - the perils of punishing terrorist thoughts ( Memento of the original from January 15, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / static.rnw.nl
  3. ^ Judgment as a pdf online on the Politieacademie's homepage
  4. Information about Nourredin from Michael Borgstede's trial in the FAZ of January 3, 2006
  5. http://religionresearch.org/closer/2008/01/23/rechtspraaknl-uitspraak-hofstadzaak/%3C/ref%3E >
  6. ^ NRC / Handelsblatt article of October 3, 2008: Extended prison sentence for four terror plotters reproduced on the Closer homepage