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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.