A man from Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, has been cleared of terrorism charges after he tried to buy an AK-47 online, claiming he “needed it for the gay Pride parade”.
The 32-year-old, identified as “Tahsin E”, was arrested on 7 August, 2020, according to DutchNews, after Dutch security service AIVD and the FBI were made aware of threats he was making on social media.
He made threats online against gay people, Jewish people and the police, and asked on Twitter if anyone could sell him an AK-47 rifle as he “needed it for the gay Pride parade”.
After his arrest, authorities searched his home and discovered hydrogen peroxide, sometimes used for making bombs, and multiple phones, which contained ISIS propaganda and photos and videos of weapons.
Tahsin E has been sentenced to five months in prison for the online threats, but has now been cleared of terrorism charges.
While the prosecution argued that the man was planning on carrying out an attack, and had undergone “terrorism training”, judges ruled that this was not the case.
Experts found that Tahsin E had autism, and was not responsible for his actions, and the defendant himself said his threats were simply an outlet for his frustration.
His prison sentence will be followed by compulsory psychiatric treatment.
Last year, a group of six men were convicted of plotting a terrorist attack on Amsterdam Pride parade in 2018.
The men were arrested after an undercover police operation in which officers posed as weapons dealers.
Public prosecutor Ferry van Veghel said at the time that it would have been “an attack like the Netherlands has never seen… Our country has never been this close to such a major attack”.
The leader of the group was sentenced to 17 years in prison, while the other five men were sentenced to 13 years behind bars.