Ex-terror suspect: "I made up" Dutch jihad recruitment claim

The key witness in the massive terrorism trial currently ongoing in the high-security court in Amsterdam, has withdrawn his statement. He now claims that he completely fabricated the statement.

The witness in question, 22 year old Ahmed S., said this in an interview with NRC on Wednesday. He is expected to testify under oath in court on Thursday.

S. gave a statement to the police early in 2014, while he himself was in custody for recruiting. He was part of the group of 10 suspects currently standing trial for recruitment practices and participation in a criminal organization with terrorist intent.

S. told the police that the group had "brainwashed" him by showing him videos that "glorify" the jihad fighters in Syria, according to NRC. He also claimed that prime suspect Azzedine C., better known as Abou Moussa, said to him: "If you can help, you should go to Syria to fight."

This testimony is crucial for the Public Prosecutor, who wants to convict the group as a terrorist organization. But S. now claims that he made it all up. He tried to shift the blame to others so that he would be released. "I went to talk to the detectives. When the detective asked: 'Did they brainwash you?', I said: 'Yes they did'. Because I thought that is what they wanted to hear." S. was eventually released and his case dismissed.

According to the news agency, the Public Prosecutor still considers S.'s original statement important, believing that the other suspects are pressuring to withdraw his testimony. S. denies this, saying that he has distanced himself from his old friends.