Belgian Syria returnee claims Dutchman leads IS prison

A Belgian teenager who spent months in Syria is claiming the prison where US journalist James Foley was kept before he was beheaded by the Islamic State militia has a Dutch national in a leadership role.

The father of Jejoen Bontinck told television current affairs show EenVandaag his son knew the leader of the jail was from the Netherlands. Bontinck’s lawyer Kris Luijckx confirms the story.

Bontinck also claims to have shared a cell with Foley for a time and have developed a close relationship with him.


Bontinck left for Syria last year at the age of 17 and was allegedly imprisoned by IS when he refused to fight on the front line.

His father engaged in a high profile effort to get him back. The details of how Bontinck was brought back to Belgium remain cloudy but he does face criminal charges for terrorist offences.

The Dutch and Belgian security services have refused to comment on the claims, EenVandaag said. An estimated 100 to 120 Dutch nationals are thought to be fighting in Syria.

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