Suspected jihadist Victor D. from Heeten, Overijssel, wants to return to the Netherlands to be present at his trial, he said in a letter to the court. "In this writing I'm not trying to prove my innocence. I want to tell you what moves me, what touches me and what makes me convinced that I am working for a noble, honest affair", he wrote, according to newspaper AD.
A new database established in the Netherlands contains profiles on 207 suspected Dutch jihadists who traveled to Syria or Iraq to fight in the civil war. The figures show that the Dutch jihadists come from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, three quarters of them are male and they are mostly young - the average age is 23 years, the Volkskrant reports.
A number of Dutch rebel fighters in the Syrian civil war want to return to the Netherlands now that ISIS is suffering huge losses in Raqqa and Mosul, the lawyers representing them said to NOS. But escaping from the conflict zone is difficult, according to the lawyers.
Suspected Dutch jihadist Marouane B. traveled to Syria in 2014 in order to "help children, women and men who are being terrorized by the tyrant Assad", he wrote in an open letter in the hands of RTL Nieuws. "With my whole mind I chose to become a soldier in Syria", he wrote, adding that he joined as a soldier in a 'fighting party'. "But I did not chose for a trial in which I am called a terrorist by the Public Prosecutor and media in the Netherlands."
Police in the Netherlands arrested a 38-year-old Syrian man on allegations of involvement in a terrorist act, the public prosecutor’s office announced on Thursday. The arrest of the unnamed man is the third terrorism-related arrest in the Netherlands in a week, all three of which were in the Limburg province.
A 23-year-old Dutch man calling himself Baran Sason joined the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria to fight against terrorist organization ISIS. He plans to take part in the battle to reclaim Raqqa, the ISIS declared caliphate, he said in interviews with Kurdish news sites. "I fight to recapture this country", he said.
NATO is joining the coalition fighting against terrorist organization ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the 28 NATO member states decided on Wednesday. The Netherlands will contribute two planes to the fight against Islamic State this year, Ministers Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs and Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert announced.
A 19-year-old man convicted of joining a terrorist organization to fight on behalf of ISIS was arrested after taking photos and videos inside a Dutch air base. His criminal record was uncovered after an officer from the Marechaussee stopped him on the Volkel air base last Wednesday, as recording images there is forbidden.
The man was released the following Friday, prosecutors confirmed to RTL Nieuws. There was no evidence that he had committed a crime, or that he was planning to do so, prosecutors told the news outlet.
The Dutch government "understands" the United States' cruise missile attack on a Syrian air base in retaliation to a poison gas attack in Syria earlier this week, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher and Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders all said before the cabinet meeting on Friday, NU.nl reports.
Dutch foreign rebel fighters in the Syrian Civil War that return to the Netherlands pose a risk to the safety of the country, this includes returning children, according to a Terrorist Threat Assessment for the Netherlands published by the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security on Thursday. ISIS won't hesitate to use children to commit terrorist attacks, according to the report, ANP reports.
The Netherlands is contributing an extra 2 million euros for clearing land mines in areas in Syria that have been recaptured from terrorist organization Islamic State, Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs announced in London on Tuesday. Every year the Netherlands contributes about 20 million euros for demining in a number of war-torn countries, including Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Somalia and South-Sudan.
Two weeks ago the Dutch Public Prosecutor issued a summons for 10 suspected Dutch jihadists to appear in court today. As the suspects are believed to be in Syria or Iraq, the summons could not be personally delivered. So the Prosecutor found other ways to try and reach the suspects, including social media. Two of the suspects actually responded to the Prosecutor's Facebook post, according to AD journalist Cyril Rosman tweeting from within the courtroom.
The Public Prosecutor issued an official and public summons to 10 Dutch men believed to be fighting for terrorist organization ISIS in Syria and Iraq. These men are summoned to attend a pretrial hearing in the court of Rotterdam on March 23rd, the Prosecutor said in a statement on the police website.
Tarek Karboutli, former goalkeeper of the national team of Syria, fled war in his country and applied for asylum in the Netherlands. Football team AFC immediately invited him to train with them, AT5 reports.
Karboutli is very happy with the invitation. "I hoped to get a chance with AFC. Now or in the future. But I'm very happy with the opportunity and I'm going to grab it with both hands", he said to the broadcaster. "And then you come to a club, where coaches and players are glad you're there. Everyone talks well of you, also to the people around them. I am very happy."
Another 10 Dutch names were added to the Netherlands' national terrorism list. The list now contains 100 names - 86 men, 11 women and three organizations, RTL Nieuws reports.
Most of the names on the list involve people believed to be involved in terrorist activities in Syria and Iraq.
The bank accounts and assets of everyone on the list have been frozen, which means they can no longer access the money in their accounts. This measure is intended to make it more difficult for terrorist activities to be funded from the Netherlands.
The Dutch Public Prosecutor wants to prosecute jihadists before their return to the Netherlands, while they are still in Syria and Iraq, national coordinating prosecutor Ferry van Veghel said in Nieuwsuur. "Given the high risk of people who come back from this area, we do not want to wait until they come back before opening criminal investigations. We want it all to start now and continue in their absence", he said.
The National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security Dick Schoof is very concerned about at least 80 children of Dutch jihadists that are growing up in ISIS territory, he said to the Telegraaf on Wednesday. According to him, these kids are at risk of being severely traumatized. And Dutch security forces are seriously concerned that young boys are already a threat to the Netherlands.
Hani Al Rawi, a Syrian refugee now living in the Netherlands, spent about six months in the notorious Saydnaya prison in the Syrian capital Damascus. "I hung six hours per day with my wrists tied together", he said to broadcaster NOS about the experience.
Suspected jihadist Lieke S. from Eindhoven was extradited from Bulgaria to the Netherlands. The Koninklijke Marechaussee took her into custody at Schiphol airport on Friday morning, AD reports.
The 33-year-old woman was arrested in Bulgaria on December 23rd, at the request of the Dutch Public Prosecutor. The prosecutor in Den Bosch suspects her of trying to join terrorist organization ISIS in order to take part in the violent struggle in Syria.
A vigil showing support to the people in Aleppo, Syria will be held on Amsterdam's Dam Square on Wednesday. The organizers plan to turn the square into a "sea of candles", with each participant holding one. So far over a thousand people indicated that they will attend.
Anyone who wants to travel to a terrorist-control area from the Netherlands can only do so with the Ministry of Security and Justice's express permission. Those who travel to such an area without permission, could face 2 years in prison, according to a proposal Minister Ard van der Steur is preparing.
With European citizens becoming more polarized when it comes to integration, Islam and asylum, the Netherlands must prepare for a possible attack during the parliamentary elections in March, cautions Dick Schoof, the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security. Radicalized loners, both ultra nationalists and religious fanatics, could be particularly dangerous, he told radio station BNR.
Now seven months pregnant, authorities believe she wanted to carry out terrorist attacks on behalf of ISIS. Her arraignment was expected to be held on Friday.