Facebook picture learns Belgian woman about husband’s death in Syria

During the past few days, three Belgian fighters reportedly were killed in Syria. All of them belonged to the radical ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Sham’ (ISIS). One of their women, back from Syria herself since only two months, learned about her husband’s fate yesterday evening by seeing a picture of his dead body on a friend’s Facebook account.

The wife of ‘Abu Muthanna’, one of the Belgian dead, saw his picture (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE) on the Facebook page of Hicham Chaïb (a.k.a. ‘Abu Haniefa’, a.k.a. ‘Muhajirien As Shaam’), the only remaining leader of Shariah4Belgium currently fighting in Syria. “My husband?” she reacted in panic. “Can anybody contact me please to tell what’s going on?”

Several hours later, still no visible answer was shown. It is unsure whether Hicham Chaïb is on the same spot where ‘Abu Muthanna’ had died, since Chaïb is mentioning Homs as his place of residence and the three Belgians were killed somewhere in between of Ar-Raqqah and Hasakah, according to the French ISIS fighter ‘Abu Abdillah Mujahid’ — who appears to be the original source of the picture that Chaïb has shared.

“On Tuesday, six of our people were killed in battles against the Free Syrian Army, Ahrar Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Nusra near the village of Margada, two of them Belgians”, the Frenchman wrote. “On Wednesday seven, one of them from Belgium and another one from the Netherlands.” He didn’t mention any names, but apart from ‘Abu Muthanna’ and slain comrades from Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Indonesia, he also posted a posthumous picture (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE) of an African man, telling the guy was a Belgian from Malian descent.

‘Oum Almuthanna’, as the woman mentioned above is calling herself, is a sister of Noureddine Abouallal (a.k.a. ‘Abou Mujahid’)— another member of the triumvirate that took over as leaders of Shariah4Belgium after the arrest of founder and public face Fouad Belkacem (a.k.a. ‘Abu Imran’). Abouallal was killed while fighting in Syria in July of last year (a video eulogy can be seen here) while his third colleague Feisal Yamoun (a.k.a. ‘Abu Faris’) has died there last month (video here). All of them were living in of near the Belgian city of Antwerp and share Moroccan roots.

In January, ‘Oum Almuthanna’ and Abouallal’s widow Tatiana Wielandt — a Flemish muslim convert — came back from Syria. They both appeared to be pregnant, and apparently they didn’t want to give birth in the midst of a vicious war. According to their parents, they got help from the Belgian authorities while traveling home. After their arrival, they were questioned by the police, but not arrested.

UPDATE: a partly French spoken video of the remains of ‘Abu Muthanna’ can be seen here — with a warning again for it’s graphic content.


Will the Prime Minister ever admit that they have met? – A eulogy for ‘Shariah4Belgium’ leader Abu Faris

A few hours ago, a eulogy was published in Dutch on the Facebook page ‘Free Aseer Abu Imran’, ran by supporters of ‘Shariah4Belgium’. It’s about Feisal Yamoun from Antwerp, also known as Abu Faris. He was a leader of the extremist organization who died this month in Syria. Here is a quick translation of some excerpts.

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“A mercy for the Ummah, a nightmare for the enemy, an example for the worshippers, an ordeal for the cowards and a softener of the heart for the oppressed. This is a short description of my brother, my companion, my hero, the hero of islam and the lion of the Ummah, Feisal ‘Abu Faris’ Yamoun.”

“Who was he? May Allah be pleased with him. He was born 30 years ago in an affluent neighborhood of Berchem. He grew up in the Antwerp diamond district. At a young age, he already was aware about the prayer. After his studies, he started as a student coach in different school of Antwerp. He has always had a tendency to speak with young people.”

“Then he started to work as an event planner for political venues and sport events. He has met the most famous Belgian politicians and athletes. Will Secretary of Defence Pieter De Crem or the Flemish Prime Minister Kris Peeters ever admit that they have met Abu Faris? A successful businessman with a brand new BMW and a bright future, as he once was described by his former colleagues.”

“At one point, he began to delve into the faith by listening to the wonderful lectures of Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki. He decided to start living for the hereafter instead of this humiliating world. He sold his house, his expensive car and began his blessed journey into Islam. I ask you by Allah, how many people do you know who sell their home because they seek the satisfaction of Allah?”

“He did establish a system of one month working and one month studying. Like that, he gathered knowledge, while we sometimes didn’t understand why he had suddenly disappeared. He only stayed at home in order to study, subhanallah.”

“In 2010, he and Abu Imran decided to proclaim the dawah of tawheed openly. He was the sahib of Abu Imran, wallahi Abu Faris and Abu Imran were complementary. I’ve never seen a couple of brothers being complementary as they were in my entire life.”

“May Allah gather both brothers under his shadow on the day there is no other shadow than that of him. They came together purely for the love of Allah, may Allah reward them. Abu Faris is yet another proof that it aren’t the marginal, the future-less, and the low lifes who were doing dawah and hijra fi sabilillah after that. By Allah, they are the best of this pernicious society. Abu Faris truly enchanted the brothers with his wonderful character and sublime charisma.”

“One day, he went to the Moroccan consulate in Antwerp, asking for a Moroccan passport. Normally people have to wait one or two months for that, but when they learned who he was, they gave to him after only two weeks. Those taghut even were wishing him a good trip. When asked why he did so, he said: ‘I gave those idiots false hope. Now they think I’m going to Morocco to be tortured. Let them wait for me!’ How we laughed with Abu Faris! May Allah smile at him just like he did make us smile.”

“Abu Faris also was a specialist in counter-espionage. He had all sorts of gadgets to make the kuffar mad. He made several recordings with hidden cameras during his meetings with politicians and secret services. The proces against Abu Imran will be exciting when those recordings will be surfaced.”

“This is really not an exaggerated glorification, we are Allah’s witnesses on earth. May Allah bless his mother for having shared a pearl like him with us. Media have done everything in their might to marginalize Abu Faris. They told he terrorized the Seefhoek quarter with his two pitbull’s. But how can someone who lived all his life in Berchem in the heart of the diamond district terrorize the Seefhoek? It’s a gang of vulgar liars!”

“The vision of Abu Faris was unbelievable. He wanted neither unskilled criminals, nor highly educated traitors to the faith, but a new generation of confident, skilled and dedicated mujahideen. That was the vision of this strategist. Abu Faris was a statesman, one who looked for the best for the Ummah and not the best for himself. Allah did test him during his dawah, people have boycotted him from all sides. He even lost his job through intimidation by the state security and the bank did freeze his accounts. Only because he openly proclaimed the word of Allah.”

“When Allah saw that his servant was this strong and steadfast, he chose him for his army in Bilaad As-Shaam. His blessed army, his blessed flag and his blessed aim. Abu Faris had a slogan in his life: “Dress yourself with new clothes, be thankful to Allah and die as a martyr.” He lived and died in accordance with that.”

UPDATE: ‘Free Aseer Abu Imran’ has published a brochure with the eulogies for Abu Faris, Abu Atieq and Abou Mujahid — all three Shariah4Belgium leaders killed in Syria


Brian De Mulder & Hicham Chaïb pictured together in Syria

Today, a new picture emerged of Brian De Mulder, one of the most famous Belgians fighting in Syria. Raised in a catholic family in Antwerp as son of a mother who immigrated from Brazil, he even made headlines in Time magazine.

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The photograph was published on the Facebook account of Hicham Chaïb, another Syria fighter from the city of Antwerp, pictured on the left of De Mulder. Also known as ‘Abu Haniefa’ and ‘Muhajirien As Shaam’, he was part of the triumvirate that took the lead of Shariah4Belgium after it’s founder Fouad Belkacem (a.k.a. Abu Imran) was imprisoned in Belgium.

Chaïb is the only one of those three still alive. Noureddine Abouallal (a.k.a. Abou Mujahid) died last summer while fighting in Syria, and Feisal Yamoun (a.k.a. Abu Faris) was killed there last week. According to the Belgian newspaper ‘Het Nieuwsblad‘, security services considered the latter far more important in Shariah4Belgium than public face Belkacem, especially for the recruitement of Syria fighters.

Where the picture of De Mulder and Chaïb was taken — and whether they have fought on the side of Abouallal and Yamoun — isn’t clear. “On the lookout for the sake of Allah’, is the only comment. De Mulder has long been active on Facebook under the alias ‘Abu Qasem Brazili’, but a few weeks ago his account disappeared. It isn’t clear whether De Mulder still communicates with extremists in Belgium, but judging by the 50+ likes his new picture got in about an hour, his popularity there has only increased.


One of the leaders of Shariah4Belgium killed in Syria

One of the leaders of the disbanded extremist group ‘Shariah4Belgium’ has died in Syria, according to his wife who followed her husband of Moroccan descent Noureddine Abouallal (23) last April to the war zone with their two year old son.

 

Tatiana Wielandt (21) broke the news in a phone call to her sister in Belgium. She only told that Abouallal — nom de guerre ‘Abou Mujahid’ — has died last Wednesday after he was shot. Her sister Jessica can call Tatiana every now and then, she admitted in an interview published last week in the Belgian daily ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’. “But she doesn’t tell me much, fearing that the security services are intercepting our calls.”

 

According to Tatiana’s father Frank, the family doesn’t even know for sure whether she is in Syria now, or at the Turkish border as she told after her sudden disappearance earlier this year. “But the possibility that she and her son are on their own now in the war zone, truly is unbearable”, he told.

 

Abouallal’s sister was Tatiana’s best friend. And because her parents couldn’t afford vacations abroad, they allowed Tatiana to join the Abouallal family spending their summer holidays in Morocco. There she fell in love with him. At 18, she converted to islam and married him.

 

For the teenager Abouallal, religion wasn’t important at all. About nine years ago, he told on his Netlog account that he was interested in soccer, swimming and partying. He made no secret of his desire to fall in love. “Hello, girls”, he wrote, “I am a bit chubby, but when I am on your side, you won’t regret it for sure.”

 

According to Tatiana’s mother, he only radicalized after their marriage. “When we first met him, he was a modern guy in jeans who had a decent job. But soon after their wedding, he started to wear traditional robes, grew his beard and lost his job.” They called their son Mujahid — ‘fighter’ — and on his Facebook page, Abouallal expressed the hope that his child once would make that name come true.

 

Abouallal came in the picture as one of the leaders of Shariah4Belgium after founder and mouthpiece of the organization Fouad Belkacem — a.k.a. ‘Abu Imran’ — was jailed in June 2012. At the press conference criticizing that arrest, Abouallal told that Shariah4Belgium never would stop, but instead destroy the Belgian democracy.

 

In November 2012, he too was arrested a while — after an investigation was opened into possible terrorist activities of Shariah4Belgium. But he was released the same day — and shortly after that, Abouallal left the country to join a radical muslim militia in Syria.

 

noureddine abouallal

Noureddine Abouallal, a.k.a. ‘Abou Mujahid’, demonstrating against democracy with the slogan: ‘Don’t vote – stay muslim’


The Woolwich attack and the dangers of the European shariah movement

Wednesday’s brutal killing of a British soldier in London is proving once again the dangers of the European shariah movement — as I wrote today in Belgium’s largest daily newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws‘. That movement was longtime considered as an annoying but basically harmless phenomenon within the islamist scene. As it was operating fully in the spotlights, nobody thought it ever would be the continent’s main recruiting ground for violent jihad. But now it is.

Michael ‘Mujahid’ Adebolajo (28), one of the two perpetrators from Nigerian descent who nearly decapitated and savagely killed Drummer Lee Rigby (25) on a Woolwich street, was a disciple of Anjem Choudary. No doubt — Choudary did confirm that the guy was one of his followers in the movement Al Muhajiroun, and the BBC unearthed video footage showing both men in one single frame during an islamist manifestation in April, 2007.

On top of that, I discovered that Abu Baraa — ‘nom the guerre’ of Mizanur Rahman, another British hate preacher — told about his own relation with Adebolajo on his Facebook account. “I remember Mujahid was protesting outside the court when I went to prison back in 2006”, he wrote shortly after the Woolwich attack. “He was arrested that day defending Muslims too. He always had the concerns of Muslims at heart.”

Both Choudary and Rahman are proponents of the European shariah movement with direct links to the Belgian chapter. Choudary was the mentor of Shariah4Belgium’s founder Fouad Belkacem and it is a public secret that Choudary pushed Belkacem to launch the organization in the city of Antwerp and thus expand the British born movement to the European continent. He did visit Shariah4Belgium in person for lectures, as did Rahman.

Rahman was four years imprisoned in Britain for inciting to murder — but freely traveled to Antwerp in June 2012 in order to initiate Shariah4Belgium’s members in “Military Tactics”, as his lecture published on YouTube was titled (the video has been removed, but I have it in my archives — see a screenshot here). Nowadays, one of Rahman’s Facebook friends is Fakkul Aseer — campaigner in Dutch to “Free Abu Imran”, a reference to Belkacem’s second arrest in short time — and another is the Antwerp neighborhood Borgerhout’s resident who changed his name as I was writing from ‘Ansaar Antwerpen’ to ‘Soufian Soufian’, and is clearly a member of the same scene.

There is not the slightest proof yet that the Woolwich murderer Adebolajo had significant contacts abroad. But he clearly did belong to an international orientated part of the British islamist scene. Last example: Abdulrahman Al-Mujahir, a Facebook friend of Abu Baraa, Fakkul Aseer and Soufian Soufian. He too knows Adebolajo rather well, as he wrote: “He is a very polite, courteous and caring brother from my experience with him.”

The Woolwich attack is a new example of the small scale terrorism that Al Qaeda is promoting nowadays, with perpetrators not necessarily belonging to a well organized network. But they are not as lonely as the often used expression ‘lone wolves’ seems to implicate. They do find encouragement and practical help on the internet — in the notorious magazine ‘Inspire’ for example, that already explicitly called for attacks against soldiers in western countries.

‘Lone wolves’ often find their inspiration in real life too. In groups that cannot be pinpointed as terrorist organizations, though they are not far from that and do facilitate the way towards the real jihad. Such as Shariah4Belgium, with it’s knife wielding follower attacking two police officers in Brussels last year — a case which easily could have been as serious as the Woolwich one. It surely is remarkable how often groups related to and sharing the same dna as Shariah4Belgium, appear to be the circles were lone wolves do come from.

That was the case with Mohamed Merah, the French muslim who killed seven people last year — clearly targeting soldiers too. He was at least loosely associated with Forsane Alizza, the French equivalent with personal links towards Shariah4Belgium. It was also the case with Arid Uka, the guy who killed two American soldiers in Frankfurt, and is said to be inspired by ‘Millatu Ibrahim‘, the German sister organization. And now the same can be told about the London attack.

For European security services, this new reality is a nightmare. Apart from the difficulties to detect a terrorist plot that is not that organized — as often is highlighted when speaking about the characteristics of ‘lone wolf attacks’ — with this kind of recruiting ground it is also terribly hard to distinguish were bluff and provocations end and real threats start.

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abu baraa about adebolajo

abu baraa in antwerp

abdulrahman al-mujahir about adebolajo