French ISIS fighter Abou Abda Llah Guitone proudly published a video today, in which he is seen while stealing from the dead. “I was filming the damage and the corpses of the apostates, when I noticed this man holding his hand on his pocket”, he comments. Guitone finds a bundle of American dollars in the pocket of the unknown victim and starts counting. “Three thousand dollar”, he concludes full of joy. WARNING: the video contains some graphic images, but can be seen here.
Only for those who want to see it: a picture of the Dutch ISIS fighter ‘Abu Usama Al-Hollandi’, who was killed near Deir Ez-Zor on Saturday evening. WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGE!
A few days ago, the well known Belgian ISIS fighter Hicham Chaïb published a video message on his Facebook account. ‘Abu Haniefa al-Belgiki’ was one of the leaders of Shariah4Belgium before he went to Syria for the jihad. Following are some excerpts, translated from Dutch.
“Dear brothers and sisters, I am your brother Abu Haniefa from Belgium. Since I get a lot of questions about Dawla Islamiya*, how we live and what’s the situation here, I wanted to give a little clarification.”
“I am in the city of Ar-Raqqah at this moment and my dreams have come true. The sharia is implemented, the salat is called and the zakat is paid. Amr bil maroof is done and nahi anil munkar is done. Many people think that Dawla Islamiya is an organization only bearing that name, but it truly is a state. Thank God he has given me the honour to be with the brothers of Dawla Islamiya and practice sharia every day. We do carry the sharia, even when the kuffar and the munafiqun hate it. We make no compromises.”
“All the world may be against us, but as long as we have the satisfaction of Allah, we don’t care what other people say about us. They come with a lot of lies about Dawla Islamiya, so I want to give a warning to the brothers and the sisters who are not here in Syria. You should fear Allah, and since you do not know what’s going on here, you should support your brothers and defend their honour or remain silent. Do as the Prophet taught us: say good or keep your silence. If the news comes from a miscreant, then make sure to verify it to avoid regrets.”
“I have never felt myself so much a muslim as I do now, and even if the death will come — with heart and soul.”
* Reference to the Arabic name of ISIS: Dawla Islamiya fi Iraq wa Sham — the Islamic State in Iraq and the Greater Syria
A Belgian woman who accompanied her husband to Syria for the jihad, calls for the assassination of far right politician Filip Dewinter. “May Allah enlighten our eyes with the slaughter of this swine.”
Filip Dewinter, pictured above, is one of the leaders of Belgium’s far right party ‘Vlaams Belang’. He has angered muslims by presenting a game on the internet in which immigrants and muslims can be clubbed down. It is titled ‘Minder, Minder’ — ‘Fewer, Fewer’, a reference to the slogan his Dutch counterpart Geert Wilders recently used to promote the expulsion of foreigners.
Yesterday, already more than 50 people had filed an official complaint against Dewinter for his racism. But that didn’t please Umm Haniefa, the wife of a well known Belgian islamist. “Don’t you know that filing a complaint is against islam? A true muslim doesn’t lean upon kuffar in fighting other kuffar”, she decried on her Facebook page. “It would be better that a second Mohammed Bouyeri rises among you to deal with this pig as was dealt with the swine Theo van Gogh.”
Bouyeri was the Dutch muslim who ten years ago shot and stabbed to death film director van Gogh, known as an outspoken foe of islam. Umm Haniefa’s husband, Abu Haniefa, was one of the leaders of the now disbanded ‘Shariah4Belgium’. His real name is Hicham Chaïb and several months ago, he left his home town Antwerp with his wife to join the radical ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Shaam’ (ISIS). Apparently, they are in Ar-Raqqah now.
Politician Dewinter already announced that he will file a complaint against the woman.
A quick update to yesterday’s story about the brothers Abdelhamid (27) and Younes (13) Abaaoud, the latter being Belgium’s — and probably Europe’s — youngest foreign fighter in Syria. We have identified that same Abdelhamid in a video showing the removal of corpses after the mass execution that ISIS committed last month in Hraytan.
The video was obtained by the French magazine Paris-Match, and according to the article that was published online, it was filmed using Abdelhamid’s mobile phone. But it wasn’t he who made the images — that was the work of a friend. Paris-Match identified both Belgian fighters only by their aliases, Abou Omar and Abou Mehdi.
Abou Mehdi is easily recognizable by the G-Star hat visible on several portraits on his Facebook page. That mentions Brussels as his place of residence, but also that he has studied at the ‘Institut des Arts et Métiers de Pierrard’ in the rather remote Belgian-Luxembourg town of Virton. His real name seems to be Khaled Hachti Bernan. His birthday is October 30, but he doesn’t reveal his year of birth.
Abou Omar — seen behind the wheel of a Dodge towing several corpses and heard while joking: “You can film my trailer now” — is wearing the same sweater as in the video we posted yesterday of him, and the same pakol (an Afghan hat) as in the picture we found on his Facebook page. His ‘nom de guerre’ is Abou Omar Soussi, as we mentioned yesterday.
A third foreign fighter that appears in the video, seems to be Abou Yahya Beljiki — another Belgian member of ISIS. We’re not sure about his true identity, but one of his Facebook pictures can be seen here. The background of the image does resemble the luxurious villa near Aleppo where lots of the Belgian ISIS fighters were staying for several months.
Belgium’s youngest fighter in Syria appears to be only thirteen years old. Brussels born Younes Abaaoud was taken there by his older brother at the end of January. Abdelhamid (27) has joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) and told his father by phone that Younes doesn’t take part in the war — despite pictures of him with a gun.
Father Omar, a Moroccan born shopkeeper living already about forty years in Belgium, revealed the fate of his sons yesterday in the Belgian newspaper ‘La Capitale‘. He described the youngest one as a boy who never showed signs of religious extremism, told about his fear that he never will see him again and that his third son too could decide to join the other two.
We managed to find the Facebook accounts of both brothers, learning more about them. Abdelhamid is using the alias ‘Abou Omar Soussi’, referring to his father’s name and the Souss region in Morocco where his family has it’s roots. His account is active since July 15 of last year, mentioning ISIS (“Dawla Islamiya fi L’Iraq wa Cham”) as affiliation and showing a picture of him in Syria with the comment: “Abou Omar the Belgian in the trenches”, posted on February 8, 2014.
Four days ago, he also linked to a video showing him during a fight, hosted by YouTube and also saved here. The part in which he appears, is titled “Message of Abou Omar Al-Belgiki from the land of the battles” and starts at 00:04:31. “Our enemy advances with tanks, heavy artillery and plenty of men”, he tells in French, “while we are only about fifty fighters, lacking artillery and most of us only armed with a kalashnikov. But we do have the mightiest weapon a man can have in the fight against the enemies of Allah.”
One of the people reacting in the following days, was his own sister Yasmin. “Apparently, you feel that your weapon won’t help against your enemies, who are much more numerous and well-equiped. Why don’t you leave that place?” His answer: “Those who read and understand the coran, know that military overweight doesn’t bring victory. Only Allah does. Most of the victories that muslims were given by Allah, were victories of a minority.”
Back in the video, Abdelhamid explains why it is making him happy to see the blood of infidels being spilled. “That’s because I had to watch my entire life television images of muslim blood being spilled. I pray that Allah will break the backs of those opposing him, their soldiers and their admirers, and exterminate them.” He also calls muslims from all over the world to come to Syria. “A muslim should only submit to Allah, while you are submitting to the infidels”, he says.
Younes seems to use a Facebook account under the alias ‘Abou Mansour’. Although the date of birth mentioned there — June 22, 1990 — cannot be right, there are several interactions indicating it is him. For example, when pictures of Younes with a gun are posted, his brother reacts: “Truly a man” and another European fighter states: “Truly a fighter.” It is ‘Abou Mansour’ who takes the credits by answering: “Thank you, brothers. May Allah bless you.” Probably he just wanted to look older than he really is, not so unusual for a teenager.
Also pointing in his direction is the fact that ‘Abou Mansour’ is active on Facebook since January 26 of this year, around the moment both brothers arrived in Syria. One of the images is showing Younes there in the company of another Belgian fighter, ‘Abu Houdaifa Ahmed’. He is one of the ‘Shariah4Belgium’ followers from Vilvoorde near Brussels who traveled to Syria — ending up in a group of Belgian and French ISIS fighters based in Hraytan near Aleppo. Last month, they were forced to move to Azaz, after which they were implicated in several cruelties such as beheadings.
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.
In Spain and Morocco, authorities announced today the arrest of seven members of a recruiting network for jihad. The man considered to be the leader appears to be a Belgian born gypsy who converted from christianity to islam and boasted of his activities all over the internet.
Mustafá Maya Amaya (51) was arrested in Melilla, one of the Spanish exclaves on the coast of Morocco. There he lived in an appartment in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods of the city, La Cañada de Hidum. He tried to rally his neighbors for the improvement of their living conditions with one of more than a dozen blogs that he managed — this one being a rare exception not dedicated to radical islam.
His Spanish identity card shows that he was born in the Belgian capital Brussels. Apparently, he has been living there for quite a while. On Facebook, where he’s using the alias ‘Abou Soufian Boussire‘, he mentioned ‘Pierre Boon’ as one of his former employers. A name that seems to refer to a well known Belgian firm active in event logistics such as the rental of tents. The company has been an official purveyor to the Belgian royal household.
According to another blog, his father Rafael was a Spanish gypsy and his mother Emilia of Castilian/Andalucian Spanish descent. He converted to islam more than sixteen years ago and being paralysed on the right side of his body, he’s confined to a wheelchair already for a decade. His parents were christians and before he converted to islam, his name reportedly was José Domínguez.
His radical religious views are known since 2001, when he was thrown out of a mosque in the southern Spanish city of Málaga for defending the Afghan taliban and attacking a fellow muslim who told him that Jews too have the right to exist. At that moment, Maya reportedly also admitted that he had served eight years in a Spanish jail for robbery and drug trafficking.
Those former encounters with the police didn’t teach him discretion though. He openly boasted of his activities as a recruiter for the jihad in countries such as Syria and Mali, giving detailed instructions for people wanting to fight and publishing entire conversations with his recruits on his blog ‘Ansar Tawhid‘ and his Google+ account with the user name ‘Abou Soufian Motamed’.
“I’ll show you a conversation with a young brother who I’ve helped to depart”, he wrote last month. The brother is using the alias ‘Ihƌb’ and appears to be a seventeen year old muslim living in the French capital Paris. At the start of their conversation in December 2013, apparently conducted via private messages on Facebook, he isn’t in Syria yet.
“There’s a little boy of fifteen years old that I know from Facebook but never have met”, the recruit is telling Maya. “He wants to join and asks me to pay for his flight to Turkey. Do you think it’s better to travel alone?” Maya confirms with a short “YES”, written in capitals. “Okay”, the French teenager replies, “In that case I’ll leave him home.”
At the end of January 2014, Frenchman ‘Ihƌb’ is in Syria. “I’m with Dawla for a month now”, he writes, meaning the extremist group ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Sham’ (ISIS). “Should I stay with them or switch to Jabhat Al-Nusra?” he asks . “If you have passed the training already, it’s better to stay”, Maya advises. “Then I have to go to Iraq with them”, the recruit replies.
‘Ihƌb’ explains he is part of a group with ten people from Strassbourg in France. “I probably know some of them”, Maya writes. “I did help people from there.” Then, they discuss the infighting between ISIS and Jabhat Al-Nusra — the official branch of Al Qaeda in Syria. Maya admits that he is sending fighters to both. “But it’s confusing now”, he says.
Nora Verhoeven (20), the Belgian woman who followed her husband Tarik Taketloune to Syria and allegedly witnessed him being killed, is trying to recruit new fighters now.
“Grab your weapon and come to Sham”, she calls upon her supporters in a new message that was published ‘friends only’ on her Facebook page. Immediately, two women from the Belgian city of Antwerp replied that they want to travel to Syria, but don’t know how. ‘Oum Khattab’ — as Verhoeven is calling herself — promised to pray that the two will find their way. “I had problems with the police, but that didn’t stop me reaching my goal”, she encouraged them.
Verhoeven also explicitely stated that she belongs to the radical ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Sham’ (ISIS) and posted a new video in which she can be seen while firing a kalashnikov from the window of a moving car. Her face is hidden behind a veil, but her comment reads: “Moi, fisabilillah” — meaning: “Me, for God’s sake”.
There is new evidence that implicates Syria fighters from Belgium in horrific atrocities, the Belgian newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ reports today. Last weekend, images of a mass grave surfaced from the spot their militia had to abandon, and in the town where they have fled to, four beheadings occurred shortly after they arrived. It isn’t sure the Belgians participated in those crimes, but at least they did picture them.
The Belgian fighters are those who lived for several months in a luxurious villa near Aleppo and belong to the extremist ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Sham’ (ISIS). That group is now completely driven out of the area by rivaling rebel militias. “We even had to stage a martyr operation to break through their positions”, a French ISIS fighter hanging out with the Belgians told— referring to a suicide attack. “Two of our brothers were killed, but we did kill at least 90 of them”, dixit ‘Abou Shaheed’.
Shortly after the retreat of ISIS from the town of Hraytan, a mass grave was unearthed there. According to the source, it contained 40 to nearly 100 corpses, hastily buried under a thin layer of soil. You Tube videos show only victims in civilian clothes, and at least one of the bodies is showing signs of brutal torture, while the hands were bound together on the back. So, the victims clearly were not fighters killed in action, but executed prisoners.
All the ISIS fighters fled to Azaz, according to a Facebook conversation between one of them and an associate elsewhere in Syria. “No one has stayed behind in Hraytan”, Frenchman ‘Abou Mouthana’ confirmed to ‘Aba Souleyman’, a Belgian who apparently has left the place much earlier. “But all the members of your former group are sound and safe, including Abou Rayan.”
On the day of their arrival in Azaz, four beheadings were reported there. The victims were suspected to be members of a Kurdish militia fighting against ISIS. On Saturday, pictures emerged of their severed heads, exhibited under a signpost bearing the name of the town, and with a headless body put against it. Two of the dead were very young men, still teenagers probably. We do consider the images too graphic to show, but they are circulating widely on Facebook and Twitter already. So they aren’t hard to find for those who want to look themselves.
Images of the beheading itself hadn’t surfaced yesterday, so it is impossible to say who the perpetrators were. But several foreign combatants whose presence in Azaz is proven — including the seventeen year old ‘Abu Hudey Mhjrn Sham’, most likely coming from Belgium — posted pictures and videos of the result on their Facebook accounts. “They smelled like dogs”, nineteen year old ‘Abou Tayymia’ from Brussels commented. “Thank God for exposing the heretics that way!”
The horrendous images were rapidly shared on social media, also by like minded youths who have stayed at home. Their comments show how the ‘heroism’ of their friends in Syria is affecting their own ethics terribly too. “Bring me his jacket”, one of them told about the headless corpse, “It’s a Diesel, a genuine one.”