Hofstad trial: couple claimed they were terrorized into participating

On the 8th day of testimony in the Hofstad trial, a couple - Hanan and Lahbib - testified against Nouredine el Fahtni.

Hanan and Lahbib had let El Fahtni into their residence. They had rented a residence for him in Brussels, let him keep his weapons in their house, and smuggled them with them to Belgium, without asking questions. "Maybe I was afraid of the answer," says Lahbib. "I was afraid that would declare me and my wife non-believers." El Fahtni had told him many times that a Muslim should shun any contact with a non-believer and that he may steal from them.

Lahbib was afraid he'd be killed, but one time he had the courage to say something. When El Fahtni was handling a "Rambo" knife, he asked "what is that needed for?" El Fahtni said: "To kill unbelievers" and made motions as if he's cutting somebody's throat.

Sobbing, Hanan told of a walk in the Amsterdam woods. Suddenly El Fahtni took out a gun and shot a tree. "Here, shoot," he turned to Lahbib and Hanan.

"I saw that he meant it. I shot." says Lahbib. "I was terribly afraid," says Hanan, "also that I would be shot." El Fahtni said that watching television was forbidden for "true Muslims". "Television is Satan in the house." True Muslims didn't need Western decadent things either. Hanan and Lahbib had to remove suits, radio and other furnishings.

Hanan's lawyer says, "my client was searching in that time. She was busy with the question: can I be a Muslim in the Netherlands? She also wore a veil then."

The two had been arrested as part of Samir Azzouz's terrorist network.

Source: NRC Handelsblad (Dutch)

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