Friday saw the start of a large terrorist trial in the Belgian town of Mechelen involving three Dutchmen of Moroccan origin.
The fourteen defendants were arrested in late 2010 during a large-scale international operation. In addition to the three Dutchmen, the suspects include three Russians of Chechen origin and eight Belgians of Moroccan descent. They are accused of participating in terrorist activities, leading a terrorist organisation and breaching Belgian gun laws.
None of the defendants has carried out a terrorist attack, the public prosecutor says. But they are suspected of plotting attacks. They are also thought to have recruited Islamists to train in terrorist camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The defendants are said to have discussed their plans in online chat sessions and websites.
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