BBC NEWS | UK | Terror arrest 'link' to killing

BBC NEWS | UK | Terror arrest ‘link’ to killing

A man wanted in the Netherlands for terrorist-related offences has been accused of links to a group suspected of killing film-maker Theo van Gogh.

Racid Belkacem appeared at Bow Street Magistrates’ Court following his arrest in London on the back of an extradition request from the Dutch authorities.

Prosecutors alleged the 32 year-old Dutch national “maintained contact” with members of Hofstad group.

He was remanded in custody ahead of a further hearing on 1 July.

Mr Van Gogh, 47, was shot and stabbed to death in Amsterdam in November last year.

He had received death threats after making the film Submission which accused Islam of promoting violence against women.

Computer files

Mr Belkacem was held by officers from Scotland Yard’s extradition unit in a street in Whitechapel, east London, on Wednesday. He had arrived in the UK in January.

Police said the alleged offences against him involve firearms, forged documentation and terrorist-related recruitment.

Rosemary Fernandes, who detailed the allegations against Mr Belkacem in court, said computer files were found at his house in the Netherlands suggesting “the recruitment of persons for the Jihad”.

She said the authorities also discovered live ammunition and a blank-firing gun which could have been converted to take real bullets.

His lawyer, Mark Summers, indicated the defence would seek to challenge the validity of the extradition warrant.

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