Dutch jihadist wants to return to Netherlands to stand trial

Suspected jihadist Victor D. from Heeten, Overijssel, wants to return to the Netherlands to be present at his trial, he said in a letter to the court. "In this writing I'm not trying to prove my innocence. I want to tell you what moves me, what touches me and what makes me convinced that I am working for a noble, honest affair", he wrote, according to newspaper AD. 

Victor D., also known as Zakariyya al Hollandi, is the second suspected Dutch jihadist to make clear he wants to be present at his trial in the Netherlands. Recently Marouane B. also wrote a letter saying he wants to defend himself in court. In June the Rotterdam court decided to postpone a trial against ten suspected jihadists to give them the chance to attend their trials. 

The Public Prosecutor did its best to inform all ten suspects about the trial against them. In March the summons was posted on social media. Victor D. responded on Facebook with a comment that he does not understand the charge and did not intend to return to the Netherlands. He now seems to have changed his mind.

"I am suspected of membership to a terrorist organization", he wrote. "But such a thing must be defined by finding out the meaning of the word terror. The Van Dale [dictionary] defines terror as: Organized political violence. That would mean that a country like America is terrorist." D. wrote the letter without consulting his lawyer, according to him. 

Victor D. is believed to by in the Syrian city of Idlib, a city outside the ISIS proclaimed caliphate. He left the Netherlands for Syria in 2013. According to him, he left to live in an Islamic society where the rules of Sharia apply. He admits to be part of various combat groups, but not ISIS, according to AD. 

He also wrote about his faith in his letter to the court. "I would like Muslims to be proud of their faith again so that Islam's light is clear to everyone, that they can show how dynamic Islam is when Muslims work together, and I don't think I have to explain how rough it is when Muslims make the individualistic mindset of the West their own."