Legal action made easier against Jihadi-support

POSTED: 02/29/16 6:00 PM

ROTTERDAM – It will be easier to take legal action against people who support jihadist movements but do not actually fight for them following a recent Dutch court ruling, a senior justice ministry official told the Volkskrant.

The ruling in Rotterdam said that people who sympathize with and facilitate jihadi movements, such as by donating money to them, can also be prosecuted and jailed for several years. Public prosecutor Ferry van Veghel, who is national coordinator for cases involving terrorism, told the paper the ruling gives his department more options in the roughly 100 terrorism investigations currently underway.

People who sent goods or money can now be seen as members of a terrorist organization and will no longer be able to justify their actions by saying they simply wanted to help people, he said. Last Thursday, judges in Rotterdam found three men guilty of aiding terrorists and jailed them for between one and 3.5 years. One man had claimed he wanted to set up a transport company in Syria, a second said he was helping orphans and a third said his €1,000 donation had been to buy food, clothes and medicine for a friend who was fighting with jihadi forces. The court ruled their stories unlikely and found them guilty of helping terrorists. Security service reports show that it is extremely unlikely that you can completely distance yourself from the struggle, Van Veghel said.

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