Dutch jihadi suspects appear in court

A 23-year-old man accused of trying to travel to Syria with a 16-year-old girl should be given 240 hours community service and a three-month suspended jail sentence, the public prosecutor told a court in The Hague on Monday.

Imad el O is accused of taking the girl to Zaventem airport near Brussels in March 2013 without her parents’ permission. El O claims they were going to Egypt to study Arabic and Islam and then to get married, not to fight in Syria.

The girl was a willing traveller and had argued with her parents about her plans to leave with him and get married, he is quoted as telling the court by news agency ANP.

‘Her father said in the end she should do what she wanted but that we did not have to come back,’ El O told the court. This, he said, he saw as permission from her parents to take her with him.

Other suspects

Two other jihadi suspects will appear in court in The Hague later on Monday.

Maher H, 20, faces charges of preparing to take part in terrorist acts and fighting with Islamic militants in Syria. He is the first person to appear in court charged with joining radical Muslim groups in Syria, ANP says.

His wife Shukri F is charged with having contact with jihadis in Syria and trying to recruit more potential fighters.

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