SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The 22-year-old student arrested on terrorism charges after a security alert in Rotterdam earlier this month was trying to track down terrorists himself, the Volkskrant claimed on Thursday.
The paper, which bases its claims on talks with sources, documents and the contents of online chats, talked to Jimmy F’s lawyer Karianne Bal. ‘My client’s only goal was to unmask terrorists. He has been doing this for years.
I can’t understand why he is being held,’ Bal told the paper. F was remanded in custody for another fourteen days on Wednesday. The alleged terrorist was picked up by an anti-terror unit in the wake of a tip-off from the Spanish Guardia Civil about a possible attack on a concert by the American band Allah-Las in Rotterdam on August 23.
The threat was credible enough for Mayor Achmed Aboutaleb to cancel the event. F, who studies safety and security management, had allegedly posted concrete threats about the Rotterdam concert on messaging service Telegram.
But according to the Volkskrant Jimmy F is a member of the international online group Syria General whose aim is to find terrorists and give information about their whereabouts to police and security services. The group is said to have close ties with Russia, and to support Syria’s president Assad.
The Volkskrant had access to chats in which F. contacted a man called Ayoub who claimed to be in Spain. The man said he was planning an attack ‘bigger than the one in Paris’.
As F. tried his best to find out more about him he tried to win his confidence by saying he was planning an attack himself as well, a version of events which has been confirmed by friend of F.’s who are also members of Syria general, the paper writes.
According to the Volkskrant it is ‘probable’ that the Spanish police, in the wake of the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, were extra vigilant and informed the Dutch authorities of the message.
The paper talked to two anonymous sources who claim that Jimmy F. was in ‘frequent communication’ with Dutch secret service AIVD who they say knew about F.’s infiltration attempts. The AIVD will confirm nor deny the claim, the paper writes. (DutchNews)