Man that attacked Amsterdam kosher restaurant fought against ISIS: lawyer
A 29-year-old man who was arrested after breaking the windows of kosher restaurant Ha Carmel on Amstelveenseweg in Amsterdam last week, fought against terrorist organization ISIS in the past, his layer Willem van Vliet said on Thursday. According to the lawyer, his client made a full confession and did not commit this vandalism with an anti-Semitic motive, but out of despair over the situation in Palestine, NU.nl reports.
The man broke the windows of the restaurant while waving a Palestinian flag on Thursday morning last week, shortly after American president Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced that the U.S. embassy will move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He was arrested almost immediately afterwards. He was released after what Van Vliet calls a "super fast hearing" on December 9th.
Herman Loonstein, the lawyer representing Ha Carmel's owner, called the man a "brutal terrorist" who participated in the armed struggle in Syria on Wednesday. He called it shocking that the suspect has already been released. "On the basis of this information, the judiciary must immediately arrest the man again because he poses a danger to society", Loonstein said, according to the newspaper.
Van Vliet confirms that his client took part in the fighting in Syria, but against terrorists not for them. According to the lawyer, the man grew up in a Syrian refugee camp that was attacked by fighters from ISIS and Al-Nusra, which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda. "What happened will not happen again", Van Vliet said on behalf of his client. The police explicitly asked the suspect if he wants to die as a martyr in the Netherlands, and he answered in the negative, his lawyer said. "If he ever uses violence again, it will only be to defend himself."
Van Vliet also said he regrets that Loonstein dismissed the police and Public Prosecutor as "a bunch of stupid heads".
The Public Prosecutor suspects the 29-year-old man of vandalism and theft. "We know that the case is sensitive and therefore we take all interests into account", a spokesperson said to NU.nl. He would give no further comment.
In response to the attack on Ha Carmel, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security will soon visit the Jewish community and institutions, starting with attending a Hanukah celebration next week, Het Parool reports. He will also look into what further can be done "to show that we find this unacceptable".