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.
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.
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.
The Belgian Syria fighter Brian De Mulder (19) is alive and still in contact with friends back home. He recently obtained a smartphone and used that device to connect with his Facebook account several times during the past month. Only a few days after his reappearance online, one of his youth friends converted himself to islam too.
“Abu Qasem now uses Facebook for Android”, the timeline of Brian De Mulder — ‘Abu Qasem Brazili for his friends — stated on the 30th of June. Apparently he found a smartphone in the war zone. Back in April, he announced to his family that he didn’t want to get in touch with them anymore. But he does want to hear from his old friends, since he accepted 26 new Facebook friends recently. At least one is another extremist fighting in Syria, but most of them are Belgian youngsters not connected to the radical islamic scene — not yet, at least.
It’s impossible to know what goes on between Brian and those friends in their private messages. But it can hardly be coincidence that his old time best friend converted to islam only a few days after Brian did reconnect. On the 1st of July, Gino Dos Santos still posted rap music on his Facebook account, but the next day he declared himself a muslim. On the 10th of July, he wished his Facebook friends a happy ramadan, and Brian replied publicly visible: “Insha’Allah, may God bless you.” On the 12th of July, Brian responded to the call for ‘takbir’ Gino had posted. “Allahu Akbar”, he wrote — God is great.
It is clear that Gino has chosen for the radical islam from the start. In one of his messages, he called the mujahideen “the greatest heroes of our time”. Hardly 20 years old, Gino is already quite known in the Antwerp rap scene — as the artist ‘Grote Broer’ (Big Brother), playing in the band ‘The Brotherhood Gang’ and sharing the stage with the now famous musician Coely only last year. He has his roots in Angola and has been a friend of Brian since they were kids.
They lived in the same neighbourhood, played soccer in the same team and spent a lot of time together, Brian’s mother confirmed to the newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ — who broke the news of their renewed contact. “Gino’s mother is terribly afraid now that her son will go to Syria too”, Brian’s mother told. “She called me a few days ago to ask for advice.” Gino’s mother could not be reached for comment. He himself flatly denied recent contacts with Brian De Mulder, giving no explanation for the proof on his Facebook account.