Court releases 'Jihadist' parents

On Thursday, three of the four parents suspected of jihadism who were arrested in Huizen were released. Mayor Fons Hertog says he is unsure what they will do, or what will happen with their children, who were taken away by child services, De Telegraaf reports. 

According to the examining judge in Utrecht, there is only sufficient evidence to keep 34-year-old Mourad M. in custody. He is suspected of plannign to take part in terrorist activities in Syria. All four parents were arrested on suspicion of jihadism, and were planning to take their children to Syria to join IS. For three of the four, the commissioning judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence of plans to travel to Syria to take part in terrorist activities.

Mayor Hertog of Huizen was asked for clarification in front of the members of the Municipal Council on Thursday after three of the four suspects were released. Fraction president Carel Bikkers of the local VVD demanded the Mayor explain how the Mayor plans to explain the return of these suspects to the residents of the town who were shocked to find out about their neighbors' secret intentions.

Bikkers states that it is logical that the suspects will return to their homes. Mayor Hertog said: "Where they are going and when the children can go back home will be discussed with the Child Protection Council and the concerned lawyers."

The passports of the suspects were seized by the National Counter-Terrorism and Security Coordinator last week.

The Public Prosecution Authority (OM) states that these four suspects were making preparations to travel to Syria to join IS. Why the requisition for the extension of custody for these people was dismissed by the examining judge is not clear. This may be explained on Friday. The OM could then appeal the decision.

The six children of the two sets of parents are currently staying with foster families, where they would have had to remain for at least three months. With the release of the three suspects, it is now unclear whether these children could now also return home.