Dutch jihadist: Husband wanted to commit attack in Netherlands, Europe

Suspected jihadist Laura H. told the Rotterdam court on Thursday that her husband Ibrahim wanted to commit an attack preferably in the Netherlands, or in another European country. She insists that she did not know what she was doing when she left for Syria in 2015, ANP reports.

During the hearing on Thursday, the 21-year-old mother of two young children told the court that she only became aware of terrorist organization Islamic State's violent intentions after she arrived in Iraq. She said she wanted to leave them a few months after she arrived. According to her, her husband Ibrahim was brainwashed and became increasingly dangerous. "He said he wanted to commit an attack, preferably in the Netherlands or in another European country."

Laura H. spoke clearly and extensively about how she was under the influence of her violent husband, according to the news wire. She wanted to leave the caliphate, but she stayed with him because she was "confused" and "wanted to be somebody". She also explained that she became more involved in the Islamic faith because she wanted to "belong somewhere". She wants nothing to do with the violent ISIS mindset. 

The young woman from Leidschendam left the Netherlands with a baby and a toddler in September 2015. A year later she managed to escape the caliphate. With the help of her father and the Kurdish militia, Laura left the ISIS controlled area, with her son in one arm and holding her daughter's hand with the other. Her husband was hit by bullets and remained behind during her flight. 

Back in the Netherlands, Laura H. was immediately arrested. The Public Prosecutor was initially worried that she returned to commit an attack. No evidence of that could be found, but she is still suspected of participating in a terrorist organization.

The court is trying to figure out if the young woman is really as naive as she claims. Several witnesses stated that Laura H. took the lead in going to the caliphate, or at least expressed support for it. She also messaged her father from Iraq, saying that she made a conscious choice to go there and would not be returning.

Laura H. told the court that she wrote the messages to her father in that way because she was afraid her husband would see them. The same is true for other positive things she said about ISIS, she said. 

The Public Prosecutor demanded 35 months in prison against Laura H., 24 months of which conditional. This means that if the court agrees with the Prosecutor's demand, H. will not have to return to prison as she already spent a year in custody.