Van Gogh suspect ‘the perfect Jihad recruit’
5 November 2004
AMSTERDAM — Dutch media’s attention turned on Friday to profiling the suspected killer of filmmaker Theo van Gogh, with one report claiming Mohammed B. was a “dream candidate” for extremist Jihad recruiters.
Newspaper Trouw said second-generation Moroccan immigrant youths are being targeted by Islamic extremists who hope to recruit them for Jihad, or holy war.
One of the characteristics of the recruiters is that they isolate youths from their family and friends. There was nothing out of the ordinary with Mohammed B. until he allegedly fell into the hands of extremists.
B. reportedly became strongly religious in 2003, and as a fundamentalist Muslim he was a target for jihad recruiters. Extremists look for Muslim youths from second-generation immigrant families who speak Dutch well and are well educated.
The perfect candidate would be going through an identity crisis with little hope in society. They would, for example, have a criminal record. They would also have string views about the oppression of Muslims.
Born and bred in the Netherlands, B. was known as a relaxed, friendly and intelligent young man. But the death of his mother some three years ago was widely considered a turning point in his life. “Without that motherly love, he went up the wrong path,” youth worker and old friend Aziz said.
Aziz also described B. as a serious person who worked on building his future. He was interested in computers and IT. While others would drink beer, B. was more reserved, stopping after one or two, newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported.
His father and mother were described as respectable people. B. had lived in Hart Nibbrigstraat with his parents and three sisters, and as a small child he attended the Marius Bauerschool (now Ru Paré).
He obtained a diploma at the Mondriaan Lyceum in 1995 and started studying business IT at the Hogeschool Holland in Diemen. It was there that he also regularly visited a Friday night disco in an adjoining student café. He moved out of home in 1998.
B. had also carried out volunteer work for some time for the Stichting Eigenwijks, an organisation of co-operative residents in Amsterdam Slotervaart.
But B. started placing increasing demands on his work situation in view of his faith, eventually making it impossible for him to continue working for the foundation, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.
The foundation said B. refused to serve alcoholic drinks, and his opposition to being involved in activities where both men and women were present was eventually considered “incompatible” with his function. The foundation and B. decided to part ways.
Eigenwijks helped a group of youths from Overtoomse Veld in Amsterdam to set up a workgroup in 2001. The group was concerned with the lack of adequate solutions put forward after Moroccan youths sparked riots in the suburb in April 1998.
The workgroup successfully involved youths in a series of activities, and B. was instrumental in the group’s work. He was also part of the editorial team of the neighbourhood newspaper Over ‘t Veld.
Eigenwijks — which said it would be closely involved in repairing community damage inflicted by Van Gogh’s murder — said it had regretted the fact that B. stopped working with the workgroup as he applied himself further to his faith. He “slowly ended all other social activities”.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news