A 20-year-old man who returned to the Netherlands after spending time in Syria has been remanded in custody until his November trial on terrorist offences.
Judges said on Monday there is a real risk the man will either return to Syria or will try to encourage others to fight for terrorist organisations such as Al-Nusra or IS. He is the first Syria returnee to face a trial in the Netherlands.
Mahar H admits being in Syria but says he was working for a humanitarian organisation there. ‘He went there to help, not to fight,’ his lawyer Peter Plasman says.
H returned to the Netherlands in January and was arrested in late April. He told the court during Monday’s hearing: ‘I do not agree with the founders of the caliphate because of their extreme treatment of Muslims and others.’
Meanwhile, an 18-year-old youth has also been told he will remain in jail while the investigation into claims he encouraged people to take part in jihad in Syria continues.
Oussama C, also known as Abou Yazeed, was remanded in custody by judges in The Hague. The public prosecution department claims he tried to recruit fighters while hanging around football pitches and during homework classes.
He also used IS images on Facebook and Twitter and is suspected of trying to raise funds for IS. The Dutch government has already withdrawn his passport and the immigration service sees ‘no problem’ in sending him to Morocco, broadcaster Nos said.
His lawyer says he will fight any deportation order ‘tooth and nail’.
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