1,000 "holy war veterans" in Belgium

20th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

20 September 2007, BRUSSELS – At least 1,000 former fighters in "holy wars" in the Middle East and Chechnya are living in Belgium. Most of these are people who left Belgium to fight in these regions and have since returned. They are more radical as a result of their experiences. This information comes from a study by police and security services, says Glenn Audenaert, director of the federal police in Brussels.

20 September 2007

BRUSSELS – At least 1,000 former fighters in "holy wars" in the Middle East and Chechnya are living in Belgium. Most of these are people who left Belgium to fight in these regions and have since returned. They are more radical as a result of their experiences. This information comes from a study by police and security services, says Glenn Audenaert, director of the federal police in Brussels.

"They are extremists, fundamentalists and above all experienced veterans. I wouldn't call them terrorists, but they could become that," says Audenaert.

"They are relatively young people who grew up in Belgium. Some are also Belgian nationals. They left to Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Chechnya as "jihadis" (warriors for Islam). They fought there against a demonised enemy, under a foreign flag. Their combat experience has made them more extreme. Their discourse is more fundamentalist than ever."

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

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