Belgium arrests its first female ISIS recruiter

Belgian police has arrested a woman on suspicion of recruitment for ISIS, the country’s largest newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ reported today. Rosliana Adelline Geerman (21) converted to islam only a few years ago. But she already tried to send at least two girls to Syria, investigators say.

Rosliana Adelline Geerman (21) from Brussels before she converted to islam

Rosliana Adelline Geerman (21) from Brussels before she converted to islam

‘Oum Uthmaan’, as Geerman is calling herself in extremist circles, was the driving force behind a support group on Facebook for ‘Umm Haneefa’ and ‘Oum Abbas’. These are the pseudonyms of two girls from Antwerp who were stopped last May while trying to leave for the Syrian war. Hakima Maatouch (18) is imprisoned since then, while Jessy H. (17) has been entrusted to a juvenile institution.

Besides her links with the two teenagers, Geerman also has a lot of contacts with kindred spirits who are already in Syria. Via Facebook, she is communicating with at least four women from Belgium and the Netherlands who are staying with the extremist ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Sham’ in the city of ar-Raqqah. Among them, the eighteen-year-old Dutch with whom the well known ISIS fighter from Antwerp Brian De Mulder got married there. For the investigators, there is sufficient indication that Geerman has served as an intermediary in the recruitment of the two girls.

Geerman comes from Aruba, an island belonging to the Lesser Antilles and part of the Dutch Caribbean. Just like her supposed recruit Jessy, she wasn’t born and raised as a muslim. An apparently forgotten MySpace account is showing her as party girl. “Tequila shots with my friends”, she commented on one of her pics. But after living in the Netherlands for several years, she moved to Brussels after her conversion to islam and her marriage with man of Algerian descent, it is told. We do not know when exactly that has happened, but at the end of 2012 she wrote on her actual Facebook account about the obligation for women to cover themselves and to be obedient to their husbands.

At least in Belgium, it seems much more the case for women than for men, that converts are taking the lead in jihad. Two of the very first Belgian women in the Syrian war were converts without any foreign link: Tatiana Wielandt from Antwerp, who has since returned — and Nora Verhoeven from Vilvoorde, who is still in Syria. And the woman who is coming to the forefront now in Geerman’s entourage, she too became a muslim only in her second life.

Inez L. from Brussels, alias Umm Mohamed, coming to the forefront after the arrest of Geerman

Inez L. from Brussels, alias Umm Mohamed, coming to the forefront after the arrest of Geerman

In a message that she managed to smuggle out of her cell, Geerman mentioned that ‘sisters’ can write her by delivering their letters to ‘Umm Mohamed’. That is the alias of her good friend Inez L. — originally from the town of Aarschot, but now living in Brussels too. Five years ago, Inez was trying to become a famous photo model. There is an old Facebook account where she can be seen in slightly provocative poses — and at that same time, she also confessed smoking marihuana occasionally.

Nowadays, she is “standing with my legs in Belgium, but with my heart in Syria”, as she wrote recently on her actual Facebook account. She was fined already several times for appearing in public wearing a niqab — an offense in several Belgian cities — and when she traveled to Turkey with two friend in March of this year, she posed for a picture in Istanbul Airport totally veiled. “I used to earn money by showing my body”, she tells. “And back then, lots of people predicted that I would achieve a lot. I have achieved a lot now by finding the way of islam and carrying the Holy Quran on my tongue and in my heart.”


Belgian female ISIS fighter: “Take your gun and come to Sham”

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.

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“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”.


Exclusive new pictures of Belgian ISIS widow fighting in Syria

The widow of the Belgian Syria fighter Tarik Taketloune has posted new pictures showing herself training with a kalashnikov gun somewhere in Syria. In December of last year, we already reported she had taken up arms following the death of her man.

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The last time Nora Verhoeven (20) — a.k.a. Oum Khattab — made headlines in the Belgian press, was after she allegedly was abducted by a hostile rebel group early this year. She was staying at that time near Aleppo with some other wives and widows of European ISIS fighters. At first, her family was informed that she had been killed by her kidnappers, as was another Belgian woman. But soon afterwards, the news came out that both survived and managed to escape.

It took Verhoeven some time to get back in touch with her followers in Belgium. But at the end of January, she liked a Facebook post of the Belgian account ‘Madjlis Shura Muhajirien’, while her own account disclosed she had started using Facebook for iPhone at the same day — clear signs of life. Then again, a long time of Facebook inactivity, until she posted four new pictures last weekend — as reported by the Belgian newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ in it’s Tuesday’s edition exclusively.

Two of those pictures are showing Verhoeven inside a building, apparently the place where she is living now. She is covered completely and carrying a kalashnikov. The other images are taken outside, while Verhoeven is practicing with that same gun. It isn’t clear when the pictures were taken, but certainly she is handling another weapon than the Steyr assault rifle and the pistol she appeared with in the two videos mentioned above — that can be seen here and here.

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Exclusive videos: widow of Belgian Syria fighter takes up arms herself

The widow of the Belgian Syria fighter Tarik Taketloune has put two movies on the internet that show her while she is learning to shoot — videos that we exclusively obtained.  The young woman followed her husband to Syria in May, witnessed how he was killed in June, and now apparently prepares to fight herself.

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Nora Verhoeven (19) was born in Brussels as the daughter of a Belgian father and a mother of Moroccan descent. Her family did not much adhere to religion, but for her that changed during her now 2,5 years old relationship with Taketloune.

Taketloune (20) was a follower of the radical ‘Shariah4Belgium’ organization and travelled to Syria in September 2012 in order to fight. It is unclear which militia he joined, but it’s known that most of the Belgian Syria fighters chose for radical jihadist groups.

In April 2013 a first attempt of ‘Oum Khattab’ — as Verhoeven is calling herself — to follow in his footsteps failed. But in May she succeeded. Barely three weeks after their reunification though, Taketloune was killed by an unknown group of armed men that raided their Aleppo hideout.

Verhoeven herself was injured, but she survived the attack. She told her mother about it in a phone call and said she wanted to stay in Syria “to do the good thing”. After several months of silence, she restarted to post messages and pictures on her Facebook account in November 2013.

One of her most recent messages was an advice to her friends: “Avoid the evil, because one day it all will be over.” And as told above, she also showed herself practising with fire arms — a hand gun and an Austrian made Steyr AUG assault rifle.