Prosecutor demands 2 year prison term for jihadist in appeal

During an appeal in the court in the Hague, the Public Prosecutor demanded a 2 year prison sentence for a 23 year old suspect who planned to travel to Syria to join the international jihad. The man from Amsterdam is suspected of preparing for a terrorist crime as well as for the preparation of an explosion and arson.

On October 16th, 2013 the court acquitted the accused of the preparation for a terrorist crime. He was convicted of preparing for acts of arson/explosion and sedition and was sentenced to 12 months in prison, 4 months of which was probationary. The prosecutor appealed against the acquittal of the preparations for a terrorist crime.

According to the prosecutor the suspect wanted to go to Syria to participate in the jihad. "The magnitude of jihadist going to Syria from the Netherlands has increased rapidly", the prosecutor said in court. "There is a risk that jihad travelers will gain expertise and struggle experience in the conflict and then pose a risk at their return to the Netherlands because they return radicalized, traumatized and highly willing to commit violence."

Upon the suspect's arrest in March 2012, the police found 10 meters of detonation cord, 1 kilogram of aluminum powder and 10 DVD's with 151 jihad movies. According to the prosecutor, the suspect also posted jihadist videos and messages on the internet. His internet browser history also showed searchers for instructions on how to build explosives and travel information to Syria.

The prosecutor believes that the above preparatory actions fall within the scope of the free new section of the law which states that preparations for a terrorist offense is punishable. The prosecutor thinks that only a prison sentence of considerable duration car reflect the seriousness of the offense.

The court will rule on January 27th, 2015.