Split verdict on Dutch jihad mother who brought kids to Syria

A destroyed neighborhood in Raqqa, Syria, 1 Aug 2017
A destroyed neighborhood in Raqqa, Syria, 1 Aug 2017. (Photo: Mahmoud Bali / Wikimedia Commons)

Dutch jihad suspect Laura H. (21) was sentenced to two years in prison by a Rotterdam court on Monday, of which thirteen months may be served out on probation. Since she has already spent one year in remand, she will not have to return to prison. The punishment is lower than what the Public Prosecutor had originally demanded. 

H. was not found guilty of being a member of Islamic terrorist group ISIS. However the Court of Rotterdam declared Laura H. was culpable as an accomplice for the preparations of terroristic actions because she knew that her husband was being trained by the group.

Laura H. arrived in the IS controlled part of Syria in 2015 with her husband Ibrahim and her two very young children. The Zoetermeer woman has consistently stated that she was convinced that she would be going to a different part of Syria, though she reportedly told her relatives that her family had joined the caliphate. After a year she managed to escape the caliphate together with her children and returned to the Netherlands.

Her husband was injured during the escape and was left behind in Syria. His fate is unknown.

Upon her return Laura H. was immediately arrested and put in prison. In July she was granted supervised release from the maximum security facility in Vught. She had to wear an ankle monitor and could not speak to the media.