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.”
Supporters of ISIS — the terrorist group that once was a branch of Al Qaeda and still is fighting in Syria — run an ironic Facebook group. It is called ‘War Crimes of The Islamic State of Iraq and Shaam’ and only shows innocent actions by ISIS members, asking: “Are they criminals? You be the judge.”
At first sight, the Facebook group that was established three days ago, seems critical for ‘al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham’ — as ISIS is named in Arabic. But the reference to war crimes committed by ISIS in the name of the group is clearly meant to ridicule such accusations.
The pictures that are posted, show ISIS members distributing food, teaching children, playing in the snow and even taking care for a kitten — always with a comment such as: “ISIS visits little injured boy in a hospital. Oh what a crime he has committed! Off with his head! How dare he comfort a child!”
A look at the more than 700 people who had liked the page today already, also learns a lot about it’s real purpose. Most of them are muslim extremists openly supporting ISIS in it’s struggle for an islamic state and in cruelties such as random killings and beheadings — as their profiles and other likes show.
They come from all kind of countries, with a significant share from Belgium and the Netherlands. Among them is at least one of the actual Belgian Syria fighters — ‘Abu Dujana Al-Muhajir’ from Brussels — and remarkably enough also Jejoen Bontinck, aka ‘Sayfullah Ahlu Sunna’, the young convert from Antwerp who was recently released from jail.
Bontinck joined the ranks of ISIS, but returned to Belgium after the much publicized search his father undertook in Syria. At first, he denied he had been fighting, but later he apparently cooperated with security services, testified against his former comrades and told he doesn’t support ISIS anymore — which resulted in death threats against him already.
One of the conditions for his release was refraining from contacts with his former extremist companions, and after the Belgian newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ today reported his adherence to the Facebook group, his ‘like’ has quickly disappeared.