Returning Jihadists not Arrested but Helped
THE HAGUE, 08/11/13 - The Dutch Jihadist fighters who have to date returned from Syria have not been arrested and prosecuted but have been given a job or course and accommodation, TV programme EenVandaag reports.
An estimated 20 young men have returned from Syria, where they joined the armed struggle. A number of sources confirmed to EenVandaag that they have been taken up in a course of 'de-radicalisation'.
The approach means that municipalities support Jihadists in finding a job and training, and if they have no home, arrange one for them. The Netherlands is thus diverging from Belgium, where returning fighters are immediately arrested and prosecuted.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) has in fact prosecuted some Syria visitors, but sources say it only does this to test whether the law is strong enough for conviction. For example, the OM decided on Thursday to launch proceedings against Omar H., who was arrested in Germany en route to Syria.
Omar H. was recently convicted of preparing for an arson attack, but acquitted of preparing terrorist crimes. The OM wants to obtain a judgement in principle on appeal.