Dutch terrorist recruitment organisation appears before the Court of Appeal
29 januari 2018 - Ressortsparket
On Tuesday the 30th of January, the extensive criminal investigation into a terrorist recruitment organisation from the city of The Hague will proceed before the Court of Appeal. Five men and one woman will stand trial for having formed a terrorist organisation that sought to recruit young people for the armed jihad in Syria and Iraq. Moreover, it is alleged that the suspects used anti-Semitic propaganda and hate speech to incite to commit terrorist crimes. To these ends, the suspects managed social media accounts, an online radio channel and a self-build website, and organised in 2013 and 2014 disturbing public meetings in the Schilderswijk, a neighbourhood of The Hague.
The District Court of The Hague has convicted all suspects late 2015, the majority of them for playing their part in a terrorist organisation, and subsequently sentenced them to imprisonment for up to six years. Despite these convictions, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has lodged for appeal in five of the six cases, cause the verdicts also entailed the acquittal for various counts on the indictment and the imposed sentences that were lower than demanded. The Hague Court of Appeal has planned 21 days for the proceedings.
In 2013, several parents filed reports at the police when they suspected that their children were recruited for the armed jihad. This led to a large scale criminal investigation that brought in sight more than twenty suspects, of which almost all were living in the Schilderwijk. The suspects caused great social unrest by holding, in that same quarter of The Hague, flag-waving demonstrations and lectures that glorified terrorist organisations such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra. A number of youngsters did indeed travel to the conflict area, where some of them presumably died. When in the second half of 2014 several suspects were arrested, calmness returned to the Schilderwijk district.
The proceedings will take place at the extra secured courtroom of the District Court of North-Holland at the ‘Justitieel Complex Schiphol’ (Duizendbladweg 100, Badhoevedorp) on January 30 and 31, February 1, 6, 7, 8, 13 and 15, March 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29, and April 3, 4, 5 and 6, starting each day at 10 AM. It is expected that the Prosecution Service will plead its case on March 13, 14 and 15.