In a video broadcast on the Internet, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, self proclaimed “Caliph” and “leader of Muslims” opposed the recent court decision that upheld the ban against the full veil in France, and Tunisia’s similar legislation. He stated, “Western countries perceive terrorism in the establishment of Sharia and in the freedom of the Muslim.”
June 16, 2014
Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Frans Timmermans has said in a briefing to parliament that ‘many’ Dutch nationals have joined with ISIS, an Islamist group with actions in Iraq and Syria. He adds that ‘various measures’ are being taken to prevent Dutch nationals from joining the group. For instance, the national secret service (AIVD) has given to Turkey the names of over 100 young men and women they believe may be planning to travel to Syria, and Turkey has agreed to deport them if spotted.
Also with respect to individuals travelling to Syria to join conflict, Dutch Education Minister Jet Bussemaker said that students who do so will lose their financing, and has already happened in some cases.
June 16, 2014
Spanish police broke up what they said was a jihadist recruitment network in Madrid, led by a former detainee at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, that sent volunteers to fight in Syria and Iraq with al Qaeda-inspired rebels.
Police detained nine people who allegedly fought alongside the Sunni militia Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, officials said. A person familiar with the probe said the suspected leader of the network is Lahcen Ikassrien, Moroccan by birth and nationalized Spanish. He spent four years at Guantanamo after he was captured in 2001 in Afghanistan, where he allegedly fought with the Taliban. He has denied being a Taliban member.
In Spain, Mr. Ikassrien has been a prominent voice for the closure of the Guantanamo camp, giving numerous interviews with local media and taking part in human-rights events organized by Amnesty International, according to Fernando Reinares, an expert in terrorism at Spain’s Elcano Royal Institute, a think tank.
“This detention comes to show that the idea many had, that the jihadists in Syria and elsewhere are a new generation that has no connection with the previous 9/11 generation, is completely false,” Mr. Reinares said. “What we see in fact, is that many of that older generation are now in leading positions all over the jihadist movement.”
Several dozen Islamist operatives have been arrested in Spain over the past two years, many of whom were recruited online.
June 17, 2014
The Al Andalus Brigade had sent nine ‘fighters’ from Spain and Morocco to be integrated into the terrorist factions in Iraq and Syria. Specifically, had connections with groups from seven other countries. The group, one of the leading suppliers of terrorist organization the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), had managed to form its own structure and to maintain connections with groups in France, Belgium, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey and Syria, as reported by the Ministry of Interior.
The group had significantly increased their activities in recent days, so the researchers considered a serious threat to national security.
February 7, 2014
Experts from the European Union and eight Arab countries plus Turkey will hold a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, February 11th to discuss threats posed by foreign fighters in Syria, according to a source at Al Arabiya News Channel.
The source said EU countries are increasingly worried about hundreds of young European Muslims who have travelled to Syria to carry out jihad. Many of them, he said, have joined al-Qaeda affiliated groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or al-Nusra Front.
The Arab countries invited to the meeting are Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Irann, Libya, and Tunisia.
French President Francois Hollande said last month that 700 people had left France to join the fighting in Syria in what he called a “worrying” trend.
“A certain number of young Frenchmen and young foreigners living in France… are fighting in Syria – 700 are listed, that’s a lot. Some are dead,” Hollande told a press conference in Paris.
Hollande said young people needed to be warned about the dangers of going to Syria and that France needed to “fight against a certain number of networks and havens that sustain terrorism.”
French officials have warned of the dangers from French citizens fighting with extremist and al-Qaeda linked groups in Syria.
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said this week that more than 400 people were either ready to go to Syria, were in the country or had been and returned.
Western security officials have raised fears that foreign fighters trained in Syria could carry out attacks on home soil. Officials say about 20 French citizens have died in the Syria conflict. The country was unsettled last week when reports emerged of two brothers who had converted to Islam dying within four months of each other in the conflict.
A French Muslim killed himself in a suicide against the Syrian regime in Al-Hamam, a small village southwest of Aleppo, on Wednesday, according to the NGO Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH). The man in his 20s, named as “Abou- al-Qaaqaa” killed 10 soldiers in the attack by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) group.