Court in Netherlands reduces sentences of mosque attack convicts

Enschede A court in the eastern Netherlands on Tuesday reduced the sentences of four convicts who were involved in a Molotov cocktail attack on a mosque in Enschede in 2016.

Five convicts had been sentenced to four years in prison for arson with terrorist purpose in 2016, according to a statement from the Court of Appeals of Arnhem-Leeuwarden.

The court has now reduced the sentences of two convicts to 36 months and two others to 30 months in prison; the fifth convict had not appealed against his sentence.

It added the sentences were reduced since the court deemed that the act of throwing Molotov cocktails did not endanger people inside and outside the mosque.

The court also said the convicts wanted to frighten people. A mosque in northern Drachten town, Netherlands, was attacked on February 11, according to the manager of Islamic Center Drachten Foundation. The mosque, used mostly by Moroccan-origin worshippers, is operated by the foundation.

The foundation manager Khalid Bennaceur said: Community members who came to pray in the morning said they smelled turpentine inside the mosque. Later, when we came for noon prayer, we realized that there were burn marks on the wall and windows had been broken at the back side of the mosque.

In September 2017 an under-construction mosque in the south-eastern Netherlands was targeted by the far-right group.

Source: International Islamic News Agency