The Hague: Arrested youth part of known Jihadi group

The Hague: Arrested youth part of known Jihadi group

Four Dutch citizens were arrested in Kenya last week on suspicion of wanting to join the Jihad in Somalia. Apparently one of the suspects had already been caught in the past - when he disappeared with two other young men. Their families alerted the authorities they might have gone on Jihad. They were later found in Azerbaijan and claimed they had just gone shopping in Baku. At least one of the group had contact with Dutch terrorist Samir Azzouz and it was assumed they had actually been on their way to Iraq. The case led to the arrest of several suspected Jihad recruiters.


The four "Jihadists" deported by Kenya had been alienated from their family and coreligionists. Even their radical imam repudiated them.

The municipality of the Hague had been concerned for almost a year about a group of radicalized youth, which included the four suspected "Jihadists" who had been arrested in Kenya. About twenty youth went from neighborhood to neighborhood, and from mosque to mosque, in order to get their foot in the door. Nobody, neither parents nor the authorities, could control them. They saw them radicalizing and going to the forest in order - it was feared - to get in shape for the jihad.

On July 24, the expedition of four representatives from the group, including Driss D. (21), ended in Kenya. The Moroccan from the Hague was arrested with three others by the local police when they drove in a truck towards the Somali border. They supposedly were on their way to a jihadist training camp.

The AIVD has been keeping an eye on the ethnically mixed group of youth ages 17 to 28 for quite a while. In November 2005, Driss D., then 18, was arrested in Azerbaijan together with two friends with an expired visa. The youth from the Hague said they were on vacation. Their parents, who reported them missing, feared they had actually wanted to go on Jihad.

The role of the As Soennah mosque in the Hague was notable - notorious for its controversial imam Fawaz Jneid - the mosque reported the disappearance of their young visitors. the mosque placed an internet appeal and denied entrance to the suspect "jihad recruiter".

Barely a year later the As Soenna went a step further. Though the fundamentalist mosque is itself being followed by the AIVD, they informed the service about a group of visitors who maintained an extremely militant view. In culmination imam Fawaz - who had earlier cursed Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Theo van Gogh before the film-maker was murdered - had a sermon in which he firmly rejected al Qaeda.

The group - consisting of a hard-core of 4-5 people and hangers-on - were set adrift. The municipality was desperate. Now the club did not have a spiritual leader - Fawaz was done with al-Qaeda in his sermon - they could make dangerous decisions on their own.

The alarms really went off when one of the older group member - a resident of the Hague of Turkish origin - was arrested in November 2008 with a weapon and silencer. According to the AIVD the man had been radicalized within a short period of time (at the beginning of the year he was sentenced to four months in jail due to illegal possession of firearms).

The a group possibly wanted to go on jihad training in Somalia, doesn't surprise various insiders. The youth were being pressured, persecuted and declared undesirable everywhere. The as-Soennah mosque should never have dropped them, some think. Thereby they became even more frustrated and isolated.

On Wednesday evening the four were put on a plane to Brussels. In Belgium they were arrested by request of the Dutch public prosecution for participating in a terrorist organization. Documents were found in two house searches. According to a spokesperson, investigation will show the nature of the material. Meanwhile, the public prosecution received a report from the AIVD with information about the suspects. The prosecution doesn't rule out that there would be more arrests.

The As-Soennah mosque was not available for comments yesterday. It's unclear when the suspects would be extradited by Belgium. If they resist it, the procedure can take up to a month.

Source: Volkskrant (Dutch)

See also:
* Somalia: Swedish citizen killed on Jihad, four Dutch citizens arrested
* Three Dutch recruited for Jihad
* Missing kids learned Koran by terror suspect
* Alleged Jihad recruiter denies accusations
* kids 'on vacation'
* Three Dutch Jihadists back home
* We just went shopping.. in Baku
* Netherlands: 6 arrested for jihad recruitment

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