'Court freed anti-Semitic volcano ready to explode'

Man who attacked Amsterdam kosher restaurant an anti-Semitic 'volcano ready to explode', warns Dutch anti-Semitism watchdog group.

David Rosenberg ,

Arrest (illustrative)
Arrest (illustrative)
Flash 90

An Arab man arrested for attacking a Kosher restaurant in Amsterdam has pledged to follow up with more violent attacks, a Dutch anti-Semitism monitor has warned, yet was freed just over two days after his initial arrest.

On the morning of December 7th, Saleh Ali smashed the windows of the HaCarmel restaurant in Amsterdam while carrying a Palestine Liberation Organization flag. Ali then broke into the restaurant, stole an Israeli flag, and threw it to the ground.

Police officers who had watched Ali attack the restaurant then intervened, overpowering and forcibly arresting him.

The attack took place just hours after President Donald Trump announced that the US would formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and would be relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Ali, who had fought in Syria’s civil war, was charged with vandalism and theft. Authorities are not treating the attack as a hate crime, and Ali was released within two and a half days of his arrest.

But in a letter to the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security which was obtained by Arutz Sheva, the anti-Semitism watchdog group Center for Information and Documentation Israel noted that Ali was freed despite every indication that the incident was not only a hate crime, but that the perpetrator had made it clear he would strike again.

According to the CIDI, Ali ‘was trained in the use of weapons in Syria,” and was prepared to die during his attack on the Kosher restaurant.

“[H]e told the police that he did not mind if he had died during his act.”

Ali has been candid about his intentions even with his probation officer, calling the restaurant attack just the “first step”.

“During the court hearing… shocking facts came to light. Saleh A. has declared to the probation officer that his attack on restaurant HaCarmel was only ‘a first step’. He describes himself as ‘a volcano that is ready to erupt’, but does not want to say anything about what the second step will be. Despite this disguised threat, he was free from custody only sixty hours after his attack.”

While authorities also viewed Ali as a threat, they were unable to impose stricter measures on him, the CIDI claimed.

“The court fears repetition as well, and has therefore extended the area ban of mister A. and imposed a suspended prison sentence on him. In other words, according to the court, the measures that were in force until today were not heavy enough.”

“From the statements of Saleh A. himself, no other conclusion can be drawn than that he has formed a threat all this time. That the government has not recognized this in the past two weeks is incomprehensible and worrisome. How is it possible that this man was released so quickly, and how do you want to prevent this in the future? Only a clear answer can remove the concerns and restore confidence in the rule of law.”