Dutch detain two suspected jihadists back from Turkey

Dutch detain two suspected jihadists back from Turkey

The Hague - Agence France-Press
Dutch detain two suspected jihadists back from Turkey

Dutch authorities detained two suspected jihadist fighters on July 3 after they returned from Turkey where they had been sentenced for terror-related activities, prosecutors said.

The two Dutch nationals, identified by local media as Reda Nidalha and Oussama H. “were detained upon their arrival at Schiphol airport,” the public prosecution service said in a statement.

A Turkish court sentenced the men to six years behind bars in May following their arrests in 2016, after they came across the Syrian border back to Turkey.

The men, both 23, allegedly joined the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's (ISIL) in 2014, but later decided they wanted to go back to the Netherlands.

“They were on their way to a Dutch diplomatic post when they were arrested by Turkish authorities,” the NOS public newscaster said.

The men are appealing the sentence and were out on bail. They were given permission to travel to the Netherlands while awaiting the outcome of their appeal in Turkey, but at the same time they will also be put on trial by a local court, prosecutors said.

The pair will make a preliminary appearance before a Dutch judge later in the week, the prosecution statement said.

Meanwhile the Dutch government also asked Kurdish authorities on Tuesday to hand over three women who are currently being held in camps in northern Syria.

“Prosecutors are now waiting for a reaction from the Kurdish side,” the NOS said.

Of around 280 people who have left the Netherlands since the start of Syria’s civil war in 2011 to join jihadist groups, about 185 were still in the region, the Dutch intelligence and security agency AIVD said.