Arhem court acquits suspected jihadists
The court in Arnhem has acquitted two suspected jihadists for lack of proof that they were plotting crimes with terrorist intent.
The two Amsterdam men, Hakim B. (22) and Mohamed el A. (27) were arrested in the summer of 2013 in Germany; police found the trunk of their car stashed with outdoor clothing, ski-masks, camping equipment and army goggles. They claimed they were taking the equipment to their brothers who lived in Syria and had most likely fighting for Jabhat al-Nusra. Mohamed had reportedly considered joining his brother and render relief in Syria.
The Justice Department found it proven that the two young men were intending to fight or at least facilitate the fight. The Prosecutor’s Office demanded two years in prison, a stiff term to send a discouraging signal to others who are considering to follow the men’s example.
The Judge however disagreed, arguing that the men had not committed a crime, not to mention crime with terrorism intent. He acquitted the two men.
It is not the first loss the justice department suffers in its fight against jihadists. Earlier a judge disregarded a four-year demand for Shukri F. from Zoetermeer who was accused of recruiting jihadists and “jihad brides”. And the justice department had also bumbled the case against jihadist Omar H. who, when he was finally sentenced in appeal, had been in Iraq for months, where he joined IS.