A Dutch Islamist terror cell planned an attack on Amsterdam’s famous Gay Pride parade and other major targets, a court heard Friday.
Six suspects arrested two years ago went on trial this week in Rotterdam in what has been described as one of the country’s biggest such cases to date.
A Dutch judge read a statement by an undercover police officer who testified that the group’s leader, identified only as Hardi N., planned to attack the 2018 Pride event.
Hardi N. told the officer he had dreamed that the Prophet Mohammed had instructed him to attack, and that he needed help from people with knowledge of weapons.
The 36-year-old suspect also planned to attack an army base to shoot at jogging soldiers and a nightclub, the NOS public broadcaster reported.
The court was also shown undercover footage of the men handling pistols and AK-47 assault rifles at a holiday bungalow and of their dramatic arrest by anti-terrorist police.
Hardi N was convicted of planning to travel to Syria in 2014 to join the Islamist group Jabhat al-Nusra, but he was later freed on a reduced sentence.
During the current trial he admitted he had a “radical world view” but denied being part of any terror group or wanting to commit a terror attack, Dutch media reported.
The Netherlands has seen a series of terror attacks and plots, although not so far on the scale of those in other European countries.
Pride Amsterdam, the organiser of the parade, said in a statement that it assumed the event was the target of the group, which was based in the city of Arnhem, the ANP news agency reported.
The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalise gay marriage, in 2001, and Amsterdam is home to the annual parade, attracting tens-of-thousands of revellers every year.