Two men suspected of being part of the far-right terrorist group The Base remain in police custody. That was determined by the judge in Rotterdam on Thursday.
One, Steven V., wrote in an app group that he wanted to commit an attack on Mark Rutte if the prime minister rode his bicycle to the Binnenhof (The seat of Dutch Parliament). The other, Fabio I., posted in the group texts that would encourage racist or homo-related violence.
According to the prosecutor, The Base is an American terrorist organization that adheres to the theory of accelerationism. According to them, today’s society must collapse, preferably due to a provoked race war, after which a white ethnostate can be founded. Accelarationism is a theory that is circulating in alt-right circles worldwide. Some of the groups that stormed the Capitol in Washington also adhere to such ideas.
Fabio I., a slender 19-year-old boy from Dordrecht who has been in isolation in the Penitentiary Institution in Vught for three months, watched through a faltering and echoing video connection. He said he regretted the things he said to the app group and feared losing the prospect of a job or education. “I know I can do better.”
He’s a quiet boy who usually sits on the couch under a blanket, his mother told his lawyer. He was almost always at home; he would only go out once every six months. In addition, I. is said to have a low IQ and have had a difficult childhood. He was “searching,” said his lawyer, drawn to “fantastic theories.” In an app group called Feuerjugend, he wrote, “Our terror (sic) is coming and our hatred will spread all over the world.”
But the reprehensible lyrics are just bluff, according to his lawyer. The Base would not have been a terrorist organization because no acts of violence were known. Only doxing – publishing address details of opponents -, handing out flyers and spraying graffiti are proven actions of The Base, according to the lawyer.
Steven V.’s lawyer also argued that her client only spoke tough words and would not hurt a fly. V., who shook his head while the officer gave his explanation of The Base, is a 20-year-old Amsterdam citizen who searched the Internet out of loneliness after being turned down for a job application at Defense. His ‘interest in the Second World War’ led him to extremist groups. He would have joined the app group of The Base because he would get ‘tips about survival’ there.
Still, he wrote to the group, “Why don’t we join forces and kill entire families in their homes every weekend.” He also proposed to kill politicians. When asked which politicians, he replied, “The Prime Minister, he rides a bicycle to work … without security.” V. said he knew the fixed routes of Rutte from a document that circulated on the internet.
He would also have shared a video, under the pseudonym The Mad Dutchman, in an app group that shows him pulling a knife from his waistband and making a racist statement.
“I’m so ashamed of what I’ve said,” said V. over the video link. “I am not a terrorist.” He thinks it is ‘ridiculous’ that he is still in custody. The judge disagrees. Because the investigation has yet to be completed, he sees sufficient grounds to stay in custody.
The next session is in April. Until then, both suspects will be detained.
Note: The article has been auto-translated from Dutch using Google translate as there is no English language reporting on this. The only addition made was the reference to the Dutch seat of Parliament.
Full story (in Dutch) at Volkskrant.nl