Monday, 6 February, 2023

Dutch police arrest ‘IS security official’

THE HAGUE: Dutch police on Tuesday arrested a suspected security official from the Islamic State group suspected of links to war crimes in Syria, prosecutors said, reports AFP.

The 37-year-old Syrian was held in the southwestern village of Arkel, where he was living after being granted asylum, a prosecution service statement said.

He "is said to have played an important role in the Syrian civil war within the terrorist organisations Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State", prosecutors said.

They did not name the suspect, who is due to appear in court in The Hague on Friday.

He allegedly operated for both IS and Jabhat al-Nusra in the Yarmouk refugee camp in the south of Damascus.

"It is suspected that between 2015 and 2018, the man held a managerial position in the security service of IS," the statement said.

Prosecutors said it was believed that "from his position at IS he also contributed to the war crimes that the organisation committed in Syria."

The man applied for asylum in 2019 and then moved to Arkel a year later.

Dutch investigators started looking into his case "after information was received about his past".

The Dutch have made a series of arrests linked to Syria in recent years, including both people who sought asylum in the Netherlands and Dutch nationals who went to Syria to fight.

Syria's war is estimated to have killed nearly half a million people and displaced millions since it began with a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests in 2011.