European security services are concerned about what the Volkskrant calls ‘pop jihadists’ – Muslim youngsters who flirt with terrorist symbols and spread them using social media.
The concept of jihad, or holy war, as a lifestyle is ‘extremely worrying’, the Dutch counter-terrorism tzar told paper.
A ‘not inconsiderable’ number of youngsters have become radicalised and some have gone to Syria to fight, the paper quoted the counter-terrorism body as saying. The body puts the number at around 100.
A film poster-style announcement of his death on website dewarereligie.nl includes the phrase ‘known from the Volkskrant’, the paper points out.
Sources have told the paper youngsters from Arnhem, Ede-Wageningen, Zwolle, Eindhoven, Utrecht and Rotterdam have gone to Syria but that their parents are keeping quiet because of the stigma.
For example, at least 15 Arnhem youths have gone, but only four are officially known to the authorities.
The trend is also apparent in Belgium, Germany and England, the paper says.