One of the Netherlands’ most notorious convicted terrorists has been arrested in Rotterdam on charges of financing terrorism, his lawyer has confirmed to broadcaster NOS.
Samir A was released from jail in 2013 after serving two thirds of his sentence for plotting attacks in the country.
He has now been arrested and charged with collecting money for women and children living in IS-controlled parts of Syria. However lawyer Tamara Buruma says the money, food and medicine was sent to women and children living in camps. ‘No money has gone to IS,’ she said.
A was a member of a loose grouping of young men nicknamed the Hofstad group by police and went through three trials before he was finally convicted of membership of a terrorist organisation, plotting attacks on political targets and recruiting people for the armed struggle against ‘the enemies of Islam’.
The NRC interviewed A last year after being tipped off that he was collecting money for the children of another member of the Hofstad group, who had died in Syria.
In the interview he denied helping terrorists. ‘If you know that children are dying of hunger, then you help them,’ he said. ‘People who do not help should be held to account.’
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