Convicted jihadist Samir A. is said to have had contact with a Belgian jihadist in Syria in 2017 and asked him for explosives. The Public Prosecution Service reports this on Friday in a lawsuit against Samir A. because of terrorist financing.
Samir A. (35) is an old acquaintance in the world of Dutch jihadists, he came into the picture during the investigation into the Hofstad group around Mohammed B. Samir A. was already jailed for nine years for plotting an attack in the Netherlands. . Now he is being prosecuted for allegedly raising money to bring Dutch women from Syria back to the Netherlands, which according to the judiciary is terrorist financing.
That case would be heard in the Rotterdam court today, but the Public Prosecution Service wants to do more research into new information. That new information is a statement by a Belgian jihadist, Bilal Al Marchohi. That Belgian was imprisoned in 2017 by the Americans in Raqqa, the former capital of the Caliphate. He is said to have been part of the Islamic State’s religious police in Raqqa and was sentenced to death in Iraq for this. “Al Marchohi has stated to the Americans that Samir A. would have asked for explosives a few years ago, possibly for an attack,” the prosecutor said on Friday. That statement ended up in the Netherlands via the FBI. Al Marchohi has a link with the Netherlands: he was married to Syrian traveler Ilham B. from Gouda. She is now back in the Netherlands.
The OM has also seen chat conversations from 2017 between Samir A. and Al Marchohi. In it, A. complains about his situation in the Netherlands. ‘I don’t see the brothers here much. The situation is to cry for us. I’m ashamed to talk to you. You sit there and I sit here. I still have an ankle bracelet on, I’m a slave to them.’ The Belgian replies that he is doing well and that he ‘wants to die for the win’.
The Public Prosecution Service finds that chat important because it also wants to prosecute Samir A. for membership of a terrorist organization. ,,A. declares to have nothing to do with IS, but these chats show something else,” said the Public Prosecution Service. Justice therefore wants to postpone the case for more investigation.
Tamara Buruma, Samir A.’s lawyer, opposes this. She wants the case for financing the return of Dutch IS women to be dealt with today. It is known that Samir A. had contact with people in Syria. “But it is illogical that he would ask these questions to a Belgian jihadist in Syria, using the telephone with which he has been in contact with many more people.” The statement is also said to have been investigated once, which has not led to prosecution.
Buruma also questions the interrogations of Al Marchohi. “Bilal has been interrogated 45 times, those interrogations may be unreliable and unlawful. The detention there is degrading. Bilal is held up by two men to explain.”
The lawsuit is still ongoing.
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