Though it's illegal for Dutch nationals to join any foreign army, let alone a terrorist organization like the Islamic State, Dutch authorities have said the bikers are not committing a crime, so they are being allowed to help battle ISIS.
“Joining a foreign armed force was previously punishable, now it’s no longer forbidden,” public prosecutor spokesman Wim de Bruin told AFP.
“You just can’t join a fight against the Netherlands,” he told AFP after reports emerged that Dutch bikers from the No Surrender gang were fighting ISIS insurgents alongside Kurds in northern Iraq.
The head of No Surrender, Klaas Otto, told state broadcaster NOS that three members who travelled to near Mosul in northern Iraq were from Dutch cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Breda.
A photograph on a Dutch-Kurdish Twitter account shows a tattooed Dutchman called Ron in military garb, holding a Kalashnikov assault rifle while sat with a Kurdish comrade.
Video footage apparently from a Kurdish broadcaster shows an armed European man with Kurdish fighters saying in Dutch: “The Kurds have been under pressure for a long time.”
The Netherlands, like other European countries are trying to prevent their citizens from joining ISIS- warning of prosecution should they choose to return- if not killed- and taking away passports so they are unable to travel in the first place.
“The big difference with ISIS is that it’s listed as a terrorist group,” said De Bruin.
“That means that even preparing to join ISIS is punishable.”
Although they can fight with some Kurds, they are not allowed to fight with the blacklisted Terrorist-designated Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Source: Al Arabiya