The Belgian newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ exclusively reported today about the return of another injured Syria fighter: Soufiane Aoulad Abdenbi, 27 years old and coming from Deinze, a town near the city of Ghent.
Aoulad Abdenbi appears to be of Moroccan descent, but little more is known about him. The paper doesn’t mention how long he was in Syria, nor to which group he belonged. At first sight, he has no links with the typical ‘Shariah4Belgium’ scene. His Facebook page, where visible activity has stopped on the 26th of March last year, points to contacts in the Netherlands. Apparently, he also appeared on the forum Ansaar.nl, where a Belgian member with the name ‘soufiane-aoulad’ shared a video from the Dutch website Dewaarheid.nl (meaning ‘the truth’) in September 2012.
Certain is that he got severly wounded in Syria. According to security sources, he was shot in his arm, his chest and his throat. His lawyer confirmed that he hardly can speak for the moment since even his larynx was hit. He underwent surgery in a Turkish hospital before his family helped him travel back to Belgium. There he stays in prison now, as do five other men in the case against Syria fighters and the network recruiting them.
Aoulad Abdenbi is the third Belgian fighter who came home from Syria with injuries. Earlier, Hakim Elouassaki from Vilvoorde returned with serious wounds from a granate, and Bilal El-M. from Brussels did arrive in a wheelchair with injuries that allegedly still may result in an ampution of his legs.
The widely known Belgian Syria fighter Brian De Mulder seems to threaten US president Barack Obama. “I can’t wait for his visit to Belgium”, the 20 years old muslim convert yesterday wrote on his Facebook page.
“I can’t wait for the 26th of March”, De Mulder teasingly stated yesterday evening — as the Belgian daily newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ reports in it’s Wednesday’s edition. Only after several questions of friends, he made clear what he meant. “Obama is coming to Belgium that day.”
De Mulder didn’t mention any kind of attack — nor by himself, nor by others. But still supposed to be in Syria, were he is fighting in the ranks of the ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Sham’ (ISIS), he can’t have meant he simply hopes to catch a glimpse of the visit or something like that.
The new profile picture he posted a little bit later on his account using the name ‘Abu Qasem Brazili’, showed him with his finger raised, wearing a black balaclava with the jihadi version of shahada — the islamic creed — and a kalashnikov partly visible in the background.
In the past few months, Belgium has been threatened more than once by it’s Syria fighters. Local media attributed several of those messages to Brian De Mulder. But as far as we do know, that isn’t entirely correct. De Mulder distributed some of the threats, but seemingly wasn’t the author.
A muslim extremist from Brussels apparently got slightly injured while fighting in Syria, his Facebook page shows.
Today ‘Abou Jihad Al Qital’ (20) posted a picture of his badly swollen hand, commenting: “One or two months in plaster. Don’t forget me in your prayers.” But he didn’t explain what has happened to him.
It also isn’t clear to which group the French speaking Belgian belongs, although he does show sympathy for the ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Sham’ (ISIS). A week ago, he posted pictures of dead bodies, telling they were Kurds. Apparently, he made those images himself.
According to his Facebook page, ‘Abou Jihad Al Qital’ is based in Aleppo. His true identity remains unknown, but one of his earlier pictures seems to be a portrait of him.
UPDATE: the earlier picture mentioned above doesn’t show the Belgian fighter ‘Abou Jihad Al Qital’. It appears to be Tariq Aldhahb, an Al Qaeda leader in Yemen who was killed in 2012. Thanks to @BatmanInBelgium for the clarification.
Yesterday, a few more details emerged about Abu Baraa al-Jazairi, the Belgian-Algerian emir of the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Sham’ (ISIS) who has been killed last Wednesday in Saraqib in Syria’s Idlib province.
A Belgian ISIS supporter, using the alias ‘Souf Al Casawé’, wrote the following message on his Facebook page — only available for friends, but rapidly shared by others: “He was killed in a vicious manner. Ahrar al-Sham and Suqur al-Sham invited him to discuss and negotiate, but at the first checkpoint of Ahrar he got shot in the arm and robbed of his kalashnikov. They did let him go, but then he stumbled on a checkpoint of Suqur where he was slaughtered with a hand gun.”
In a statement of the ‘Syrian Revolution General Commission‘ — an adversary of ISIS — that was published on the website ‘All4Syria’, Abu Baraa is described as a graduate of a Belgian university with a Masters degree in engineering. “He lived only briefly in Belgium after his graduation.”
According to that source, Abu Baraa did not hold an official status in ISIS, but he managed the local organization of foreign fighters. “Shortly after his arrival, he started to establish cells in a number of rural areas in the Idlib province and naming others as emirs on top of them.” Reportedly, he was also known as ‘the fox’ for his genius in complex operations and intelligence.
His first operation in Saraqib apparently happened in July of last year, when he raided the city’s media centre and kidnapped the Polish journalist Marcin Suder. “He continued to terrorize the city”, the statement says, “with a keenness for carrying out public executions of people deemed infidels and traitors.”