Prison sentences for four Dutch jihadists currently in Syria
On Friday the court in The Hague sentenced four Dutch men to six years in prison for traveling to Syria to join a terrorist organization. All four were not present to hear their sentencing as they are currently in Syria or Iraq. One is believed to be dead, NU.nl reports.
The four now convicted jihadists are between the ages of 23 and 29 years and joined the al-Nusra Front, Islamic State or another jihadist organization. They left the Netherlands in 2012 and 2013. All four faced charges of participating in a terrorist organization, preparing for terrorist offences and incitement for jihadism through social media.
The four suspects were all convicted of joining a terrorist organization and planning terrorist attacks. One was convicted of participating in a terrorist training camp. Two were found guilty of inciting others to commit terrorist offenses.
The Public Prosecutor is satisfied with the court's ruling. "It is important to submit the case to the court, even if they are in Syria or Iraq", a spokesperson said to NU.nl. This conviction means that they can be arrested immediately upon their return to the Netherlands. International arrest warrants were also issued for them.
One of the suspects, 28-year-old Driss D., is believed to be dead. His family received messages that he was killed and since then there's been no contact with him. The Prosecutor insisted on continuing with his trial, on the off chance that he is still alive and that the terrorist organization only declared his death so that he can be used under the radar.
This major jihadist trial involved a total of 17 Dutch suspected of traveling to Syria to be foreign rebel fighters in the civil war. In December last year, nine of these suspects were sentenced to 6 years in prison and one's trial was placed on hold because he is believed to be dead. The cases against three suspects are still pending.