Jihad fighter gets prison; wife acquitted for recruitment

The 20 year old Maher H. has been sentenced to three years in prison for participating in the jihad in Syria. H.'s wife, the 20 year old Shukri F., has been acquitted. She was suspected of recruiting jihadists. This is the verdict of the court in The Hague.

F.'s acquittal is remarkable. The Public Prosecutor previously demanded a prison sentence of four years for her. She allegedly recruited six people for the jihad and has been guilty of sedition. The prosecution earlier argued that F. was "mentally preparing" people "for departure to Syria". However, the court found no criminal offenses.

"The court does not doubt the extreme jihadist disposition of the 20 year old wife", the court said in a press release. The court is certain that F. tried to persuade two women to travel to Syria and marry a jihad fighter, but according to the court, this is not the same as recruitment.

The Public Prosecutor previously demanded a prison sentence of three years against H. Between March 2013 and February 2014 he prepared for the struggle in Syria and then went there to participate. According to the court, he is also guilty of sedition.

"The court finds him guilty of preparation for murder and manslaughter with terrorist aims", the court wrote in the press release. "He joined a jihadist group in Syria and there participated in fights."

H. claims that he wanted to give aid in Syria. According to him, he distributed food packages. H. was the first Syria-goer to stand trail.

A 23 year old suspect, Imad el O., was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and a prison sentence of three months. According to the prosecutors, on 22 March 2013 he took a then 16 year old girl - without her parents' permission - to Zaventem Airport in Brussels. From there he wanted her to travel to Syria via Egypt.