Syrian ISIS member spotted in Amsterdam
A Syrian man who fought for terrorist organization ISIS is living in the Netherlands with false papers, the Volkskrant reports. He was at a meeting in De Balie in Amsterdam in September, where activists of civilian collective Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently recognized him.
According to the newspaper, the activists were meeting in De Balie on September 14th following a showing of a film about their work. The 31-year-old ISIS member was there and one of the members immediately recognized him as an ISIS fighter. "We tried to take a picture of him, but he did not want to. He fled outside", Hossam Eesa of the group said to the Volkskrant. How the man knew about the meeting in De Balie is unclear. It was not listed on De Balie's agenda for safety reasons.
A security guard from De Balie chased after the man, but could not stop him. The police were called, who gathered the activists and their families in a separate room. The police stayed there until the activists could leave the premises safely, according to the newspaper. The activists stay in secret locations in the Netherlands and Germany, because they've been seriously threatened by ISIS for some time.
As far as is known, this is the first time a Syrian ISIS member was signaled in the Netherlands. Sources around the Dutch intelligence and security services confirmed the incident to the Volkskrant, and said hat the AIVD has been watching the man for months.
After years of fighting, ISIS lost almost all of its territory in Syria. Research agency Soufan says that about 30 thousand non-Syrian people joined the terrorist group, including about 280 Dutch. What they will do now is not clear, though it seems plausible that at least some will return to their home countries. About a third of European jihadists already did so, according to the research agency.