SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – An appeal court has cleared a 19-year-old woman of planning a terrorist attack in the Netherlands with her South African-based boyfriend.
Aïsha, from Wanssum in Limburg, was given a 228-day jail sentence for attempting to travel to Syria. Judges upheld the district court in Roermond’s finding that her online statements about suicide bombing were too vague to constitute a terrorist plot.
The prosecution service had demanded a sentence of 30 months. She came to the authorities’ attention in 2016 when she bought a ticket to Istanbul with the aim of travelling on to Syria ‘in order to taste the atmosphere in an Islamic country’, the court heard.
She and her fiancé, named as Tariq, talked about the possiblilty of attacking Dutch government institutions in encrypted online chat sessions that the court described as ‘concerning and shocking’.
She also watched online videos by Abdelkarim el Atrach, a Dutch jihadist from Arnhem who has since died in Syria. The appeal court said that although she was a minor when the offences were committed, they were too serious to be dealt with by the youth justice system.
In other conversations she said she wanted to ‘do something’ to non-believers and that they should ‘burn very hard’. The prosecution service said the AIVD had identified her as someone who might try to carry out an attack in her own country because she had been denied the chance to take part in the civil war in Syria. (DutchNews)