Dutch jihadist sentenced to six years in prison, in his absence

Dutch jihadist Marouane B. will spend six years in prison, if he ever returns to the Netherlands. On Wednesday the court in Rotterdam convicted him of participating in terrorist organization ISIS in Syria and imposed this sentence on him. As far as is known, the Arnhem man is still in Syria, AD reports.

Two weeks ago the Public Prosecutor demanded six years in prison against B. - a punishment in line with prison other prison sentences imposed on Dutch fighters in the Syrian civil war. Most convictions so far only focused on the suspects' participation in a terrorist organization, instead of on their individual actions, as these are difficult to find evidence for, according to AD.

B. kept quite regular contact with Dutch media from Syria over the past year. Last year he wrote an open letter to Dutch media in which he said he hoped he could return to the Netherlands for a fair trial. He wrote that he went to Syria to "help children, women and men who are being terrorized by the tyrant Assad". He also sent a rap video he made to a number of Dutch news services in which he tells his mother not to worry and that he will return to the Netherlands some day.