There are about one hundred jihadists (“holy warriors”) from Holland and about seventy jihadists from Belgium who are fighting in Syria. These numbers are quite alarming. Dutch security and terrorism experts believe that these jihadists are now receiving terrorist training from jihadist groups in Syria and could stage dangerous terror attacks after their return to Holland or Belgium. Dick Schoof, the Dutch National Counter-Terrorism Coordinator (NTCB), raised the terror alert level from “limited” to “substantial” on March 13. There are many cases of Muslim “holy warriors” who were trained by militant groups in Pakistan/Afghanistan and then returned to Europe as dangerous terrorists. One of them was Mohammed Merah, an Algerian immigrant in Toulouse (southern France) who was trained by Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, then returned to France where he staged a number of terror attacks.
Most of the jihadists from Holland and Belgium are radicalized Muslim immigrants or equally radicalized converts to Islam. Some of them are believed to be Surinamese immigrants in the Netherlands. But many of them will die as so-called “martyrs” in Syria, imagining that they will then go straight to their fictitious paradise.
German FSA jihadist
Two jihadists from Holland are already dead. One of them is twenty-year-old Soufian, a Dutch-Moroccan citizen from a village between the cities of Rotterdam and Delft. The other one is Mourad Massali, a Dutch-Moroccan citizen from Delft. He lived in the problematic immigrant neighborhood “Buitenhof.” Crime is rampant there, especially among Moroccan youths many of whom sympathize with Hamas, Al-Qaeda and Syrian jihadists. From Delft alone, about twenty youths have already left for Syria. One of them is a Dutch convert named Jordy, a close friend of Mourad’s. Mourad was married to a Dutch convert to Islam who is now pregnant.
Norwegian FSA jihadists
Jolanda Gaal, a well-informed city council member from Delft, says that bearded Muslims give these frustrated and angry young men a lot of money – between 5,000 and 10,000 euros – and also promise them that should they die in Syria, their families would be taken care of. The parents of these recruited jihadists are desperate but there is very little they can do about it. Islamist terror groups in Syria reportedly confiscate the passports of the new recruits from Holland and Belgium.
One of the jihadists from Belgium is a Muslim convert named Brian De Mulder. Brian’s mother and sister in Antwerp claim that he was recruited by Fouad Belkacem (alias Abu Imran), a Belgian-Moroccan citizen who leads the vocal Salafist fringe group “Sharia4Belgium.” “Fouad Belkacem will have to pay for it if 19-year-old Brian will be killed in Syria,” says Brian’s sister Bruna in an interview with the Flemish newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen. “I will have him to prosecuted.”
Militant Muslims want to silence her accusing her of slandering Islam and the Muslim prophet Mohammed. “They want to silence me, but they won’t succeed,” Bruna says. Brian was recognized by Bruna and his mother Rosana after the Syrian website Halab News Network showed a 7-minute internet film about forty jihadists in the Syrian province of Aleppo. Some of these jihadists spoke Dutch or Flemish. Brian was among them. He and the others were armed with Kalashnikovs. Rosana was flabbergasted and terrified when she recognized her son, especially when she saw “that weapon.” “You can see that he has been brainwashed, that he has no intention of returning home,” she told another Flemish newspaper. “It drives me mad. I want my son back.”
It is estimated there are over 170 jihadists from Holland and Belgium who are currently fighting in Syria.
Onbevoegd gezag (Dutch TV, Channel Two), February 17, 2013; NRC Handelsblad (Amsterdam), March 15, 2013, p. 4, 5 (“De minister is niet meer verrast als jongeren Hitler prijzen”); NRC Handelsblad, March 13, 2013, p. 3 (Column by Arjen van Veelen: “Liever naïef”).
De Volkskrant (Amsterdam), March 11, 2013, p. 5 (“Weinig steun voor bedreigde onderzoeker”).
Lilith Roggemans, Diederik Cops en Sammy Kolijn, Jong in Antwerpen en Gent, p. 6, 7 (JOP Monitor Gent-Antwerpen, 2013).
Bart Schut, Onrustbarend veel jonge moslims zijn antisemiet, De Volkskrant, March 18, 2013, p. 21.
De Standaard (Antwerp), March 21, 2013, p. 8, 9 (“Arabisch wint veld in Brussel”). Also quote from Brigitte Grouwels: “De massamigratie zet sinds enkele jaren ongelooflijke druk op de officiële tweetaligheid van het Gewest.”
NRC Handelsblad, March 20, 2013, p. 5 (“Turkse staat is vader van alle Turken, ook buiten Turkije”).
NRC Handelsblad, March 13, 2013 (Dick Schoof: “Terug in Nederland zijn ze erg gevaarlijk”); Washington Times, March 13, 2013 (“Dutch raise terror alert over radicalized youth, Syria fighting”).
Algemeen Dagblad (Rotterdam), March 22, 2013, p. 2 (“Tweede Marokkaanse Nederlander sneuvelt”); De Telegraaf (Amsterdam), March 22, 2013, p. 9 (“Ook tweede dode jihadi uit Delft”); De Volkskrant, March 22, 2013, p. 2 (“Tweede jihadstrijder uit Nederland in Syrië gedood”).
De Telegraaf, March 23, 2013, p. 7 (“Jihadisten Delft gelokt met geld”).
Gazet van Antwerpen (Antwerp), March 21, 2013, p. 5 (“Als Brian sterft, vervolg ik Belkacem”); De Standaard, March 21, 2013, p. 11 (“Brian De Mulder te zien internetfilmpje”).
Het Nieuwsblad (Antwerp), March 21, 2013, p. 4 (“Blij dat Brian leeft, maar wapen maakt me doodsbang”). Quote from Brian’s mother Rosana.
Algemeen Dagblad, March 20, 2013, p. 5 (“Kijk, daar vecht onze Brian mee bij Aleppo”).
De Telegraaf, March 12, 2013, p. 3 (“Achttal speelt de vermoorde onschuld”). Richard Nieuwenhuizen kicked to death.