Strike Planner Gay Pride investigated: radicalized or disturbed?

The 31-year-old man who may have had plans for an attack on the Gay Pride is currently being subjected to a personality investigation. The Public Prosecutors Office has also called in a theological expert to explore the motivations of the man. The central question in the criminal case against him is: is he radicalized or disturbed?

This appeared on Friday at an interim session in the case at the court in Amsterdam. The defendant, Tahsin E., stayed away from the courtroom and was represented by his lawyer.

In June, the investigation into E. started following a post from AIVD intelligence agency. E. would plan to attack a police station with a Kalashnikov and a bomb. On Twitter, he was looking for a weapon he said he needed to hit the Gay Pride. The police went undercover to chat with E. to find out what his plans were. As far as the ongoing lawsuit so far shows, those plans were vague.

When he ordered chemicals from a laboratory and an air pressure gun, police and justice decided to intervene and arrest E. According to the Public Prosecutors Office, the threats made on social media were “very serious”. On data carriers found at E., material was found showing a fascination with weapons, violence and Islamic State.

E. has been in custody since his arrest. Hes not staying in a cell in the terrorist ward, but in a psychiatric ward of a home of custody. According to his lawyer, the man has been suffering from an autistic disorder all his life. In a previous criminal case, he was also investigated behavioural and found reduced imputability. In that case, E. was tried for possession of a remote-controlled lighter, of which he had put a video on Twitter. According to the law enforcement, that lighter had to be regarded as an ignition mechanism.

A further interim session will take place in January. The substantive treatment is scheduled for 18 February.