Charges against Rotterdam terror threat suspect scaled down to incitement

The charges against 22-year-old Jimmy F. from Zevenbergen, who is in custody in connection with a terrorist threat in Rotterdam, were scaled down to only incitement. The Public Prosecutor still suspects him of involvement in terrorism, but the magistrate found that there is too little evidence for this charge, NOS reports.

F. was arrested for posting a message online about a terrorist threat at Rotterdam's Maassilo last week Wednesday, even before the authorities sounded the alarm, according to the broadcaster.  A performance by American band Allah-Las was canceled because of the threat. 

According to F.'s lawyer, Karianne Bal, her client tries to track down terrorists online as a hobby. "He chatted with someone who he thought was a terrorist", Bal said, according to NOS. "It was probably someone from the Spanish intelligence service. Because the city name Rotterdam came up in the conversation, the Spanish security service probably sounded the alarm. After many addition sums, the police ended up with my client."

Preparation for an attack was not discussed in the chat, Bal said. According to her, Allah-Las and the Maassilo were not mentioned, and her client did not even know about the concert until the police questioned him. 

In the past, F. even contacted the police to warn them about potential suspects. "Last year, my client tipped the police about a possible attack that would be committed. The police took that tip seriously and questioned F. as a witness. So at the police they know who he is and that finding terrorists is his hobby."

F. also had contact with intelligence service AIVD, according to the lawyer. "He even had meetings with the AIVD, but I do not know the details about that." According to her, the AIVD warned F. that the police were coming for him on the night of his arrest. "Then he was told that his name came up in the investigation into the threat, and that he had to call the police to tell them he had nothing to do with the whole thing. My client did that, but a few hours later a SWAT team came in."

Both the Public Prosecutor and the AIVD refused to comment on the lawyer's claims, according to NOS.