Saturday 31 July 2021

Jihadist recruiters are working in the Netherlands, say parents

Activists are recruiting young men to fight in Syria, the parents of several Dutch youths who have joined jihadist rebels say in Thursday’s Volkskrant.

The parents have made formal complaints to the police in The Hague about two men who have ‘brainwashed’ their children to fight in Syria, the Volkskrant says.

Three complaints have been made against a man known as Murat Ö or Ibrahim the Turk. Three more complaints have been made against Azedine C, also known as Aboe Moussa, who is active in the radical grouping Behind Bars.

No evidence

On Tuesday, the Dutch security service AIVD said there are no organisations actively recruiting youths to go to Syria. The comment was made in response to several arrests in Belgium. Nor is there evidence that young Dutch men are being paid to go to Syria to fight, the AIVD said.

‘In fact, the AIVD is saying we are liars,’ said the sister-in-law of a 19-year-old Dutch-Moroccan youth who left for Syria on March 26 with two friends. ‘He left the house with a passport, a couple of t-shirts and two belts,’ she said. ‘He had no money. Who paid for his ticket?’

An AIVD spokesman told the paper the service takes claims about recruiters very seriously but there is no ‘classically organised’ recruitment in the Netherlands.

Group dynamics

‘What we do see is a group dynamic; youngsters who stimulate each other to travel, and who share information.The groups include charismatic figures who have the right phone numbers or who are in a network which they can refer people to,’ the spokesman told the paper.

Murat Ö, who has a string of aliases, was caught collecting money for jihad at a mosque in Australia in 2001, the Volkskrant says. Two years later he and 11 others were found not guilty of recruiting for jihad by a court in Rotterdam. He was also arrested in 2007 for similar offences but again freed because of a lack of evidence.

Last month, the AIVD said around 100 Dutch young men may have travelled to fight abroad. Several are thought to have died.

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