Le Monde


The recent wave of Belgian Muslims departing to fight in Syria has led to a number of police operations against the networks who are behind the recruitment drive. One organisation has particularly come under scrutiny: Sharia4Belgium, an organisation founded in 2010 in Antwerp, which is part of the international Salafi network Sharia4, founded in the UK two years before. Although the organisation, which has been classified by General Attorney’s Office of Antwerp as terroristic, has been dissolved in October last year, it remains to be operative in the country. Europol has previously identified the organisation as one of the largest networks to enrol Belgian Muslims to send them to fight in Syria. 33 of the 80-300 Belgian Muslims who have left the country to join the Syrian revolutionaries are accordingly believed to have been recruited by Sharia4Belgium. Sharia4Belgium is the local branch of the international organisation, which has outlets in the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, the US, India and elsewhere, advocating for the imposition of Islamic law around the globe. The organisation is said to be close to the Al-Qaida network. Two of its members, amongst them their Belgian public spokesperson, are currently under investigative custody. One of them faces a 18 months  prison term.

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