22 July 2013
A 19 year old woman suspected of recruiting individuals to fight in Syria has been arrested in the Netherlands. Police arrested the woman in the city of Zoetermeer, and she is to be remanded for two weeks while an investigation is underway.
There is growing concern in the Netherlands about Dutch Muslims being enlisted to fight in Syria. Public prosecutors have said that while authorities cannot stop would be fighters from leaving the country, they can combat recruitment, which is against the law and carries a sentence of up to four years in jail or a fine of 78,000 Euros.
By Christopher Livesay
TAGS: radicalization, youth and pop culture, public opinion and Islam in the media
20-year-old was under investigation for terrorist recruitment Genoa – A 20-year-old from the northwestern port city of Genoa who had converted to Islam has died in Syria while fighting with rebels against the government of Bashar al-Assad. The death of Giuliano Ibrahim Delnevo, a student, was first reported by Milan daily Il Giornale on Tuesday and subsequently confirmed by ANSA sources. Delnevo, who had taken the name Ibrahim along with his new faith, had posted passages of the Koran on his Facebook page along with a photograph of Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, known as the ‘Father of Global Jihad’ who inspired Osama bin Laden to take up fundamentalist offensive jihad. His family reportedly had no ties to Islam. According to Il Giornale he taken up with the “most extremist Syrian rebels”. Prosecutors later revealed Delnevo was under investigation in Genoa for terrorist recruitment at the time of his death. According to sources, the probe had been ongoing for months. Authorities said he went to Syria towards the end of 2012, though he had already made contact with extremist groups there in mid-2012. Investigators are looking into whether Delnevo was trained in Italy. Prosecutors said “there are other suspects who are not from Genova”. But Italy’s Security Intelligence Department (DIS) was quick to assure there was no major risk of widespread terrorist recruitment in the country. “There is not a concentration of recruitment, just a few individuals,” said DIS Director Giampiero Massolo. The imam of Genoa told ANSA he remembers seeing Delnevo. “He didn’t come to pray in our center, but I remember seeing him at some of our events, because he was dressed like a sufi,” Salah Hussein said, noting a long white tunic and a Qizilbash, a traditional crimson hat. The head of the Italian Union of Islamic Communities and Organizations (UCOI) on Tuesday distanced his group from the young radical, which the media has dubbed “the Italian jihadist”. “Our role as men and women of faith, just as other faiths, is to work together to send a message of co-existence and not to leave space for personal interpretations of divine messages,” said Ezzedine Elzir. “I don’t know this boy, and I know that (the Muslim community) in Genoa didn’t know him… “I don’t believe he was converted here in Italy”. Delnevo is not the first Italian citizen to be linked to extremist Islam. But the fact that he was born and raised in a Catholic country to Italian parents and not to parents from a majority-Muslim country makes him stand out. Less surprising was the arrest last week of a 21-year-old Italian of Moroccan descent in Brescia for allegedly running the Italian branch of a Belgium-based Islamist organisation under suspicion of planning attacks in Italy.
28 May 2013
Newspaper Het Parool has reported that Mutlaq Alqarawi, a civil servant from the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Kuwait, has been appointed board chairman of the Blue Mosque in Amsterdam. He has been registered at the Chamber of Commerce as chairman of Europe Trust Nederland, the owner of the building which runs the mosque. Het Parool obtained minutes from a board meeting in August in which Alqarawi is named as mosque chairman. In the same minutes, Alqarawi pressed for the recruitment of Dutch converts to Islam.
14 April 2013
The president of the Union of Islamic Communities in Ceuta (UCIDCE), the organization that brings together more than 90 percent of the fifty Muslim entities legally registered as such in Ceuta, Laarbi Maateis, acknowledged the presence in the autonomous city of ” five or six “militants of the radical group Takfir Wal Hijra (Anathema and Exile), to which different experts have linked to the recruitment of young Muslims of Ceuta to perform Jihad in Syria.
“If it was not for the great work of the intelligence services of the neighboring country,” he warned, “ we would have had thousands of cases in Morocco and many in Ceuta, (..), because there are many young people who are self-radicalized, they become fanatics, especially through the Internet, without hearing messages from their Imams, without the slightest knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence. ”
Maateis points to the neighboring Moroccan town of Castillejos (Fnideq, in Arabic), as one of the hotbeds of Islamic radicalism. “I guess it is because it is a border area, because there is contact with people of Ceuta, (…), “he says.
UCIDCE President has stated that his federation is spending “much time and sacrifice” to “prevent young ceutíes to be captured by radicals.” “However,” he added on the processes of recruitment, we “must take into account the movement of our youth to Morocco and warn that most of the contacts occur via the internet with emails, the whatsapp and especially the Paltalk “.
For the first time a Muslim organisation condemned the instrumentalisation of Islam to recruit voluntary fighters from Belgium for the civil-war in Syria. Forum Musulmans et Société (FMS) has expressed its disagreement with attempts to religify the war in Syria, which the organisation considers to be a war between Syrians and not religious fractions. According to them, both state and revolutionaries are Muslims who fight to defend their land and not their religion. The condemnation follows the revelation of a number of cases of Belgian Muslims who have departed to join the revolutionary forces in Syria.
FMS appeals to imams and Muslims in Belgium to denounce the departure of young Belgian Muslims to fight in Syria.
There’s been a good deal of attention paid lately to the idea of homegrown terrorists, and concern among some that American Muslims are being radicalized by al-Qaeda or its affiliates.
And it’s no wonder: There’s a vast universe of jihadist Web sites. And there are known cases in which Americans have made connections with figures such as Anwar al-Aulaqi, the Yemeni American cleric who said he was a confidant to the alleged shooter in the 2009 Fort Hood attack.
But a new study from the Rand Corporation finds that, in Europe at least, there’s little evidence that terrorist groups operating outside the continent try to directly recruit Muslims. Rather, European militants come to be radicalized independently and then seek out training from al-Qaeda or its affiliates.
“If any form of loosely defined recruitment exists, it is because the ‘applicant’ reached out to the ‘employer,’ and not the other way around,” the report concludes.
A recruiting campaign by the Dutch government aimed at attracting young workers will picture a veiled Muslim woman with the slogan “working for the government, if you think ahead”. The image is juxtaposed with a photo of a woman with a lip piercing, alongside a series of other supposedly contrasting images including a construction site and greenery.
Questioned by the VVD regarding the meaning of the advertisement, the Ministry of Internal Affairs says that the campaign illustrates issues facing the government. “This shows that there are differences in culture of young Dutch, with which as government you have to deal with,” reports Telegraaf.
“This is a society that has doubts about itself,” Tariq Ramadan told a French parliamentary panel mulling a burqa ban. “For me, this commission is born of a real self-doubt, and suddenly they’re looking at one element, at the most extreme slice. The problem won’t be solved like that.” Ramadan claims that the larger problem in France is discrimination which means that with an Arab-sounding name one won’t get a job or an apartment, pointing to findings by the Paris-based anti-racism group SOS-Racism, which indicated recently that some French recruitment companies are applying racist policies and ethnic profiling in hiring, filtering out non-white candidates. Ramadan positioned himself against a ban.
A new prison in Illinois is being considered for the relocation and incarceration of Guantanamo detainees. If chosen, the prison’s security measures would be enhanced to exceed those of the country’s top-security “supermax” prison in Colorado.
US Rep. Mark Kirk (R. Illinois) issued a letter of opposition to President Obama regarding the transfer, stating that doing so would turn the area into “ground zero for Jihadist terrorist plots, recruitment and radicalization.”
The article highlights that this brings up why Guantanamo was allegedly created in the first place: incarcerating terrorists while simultaneously keeping Americans out of harm’s way.
A shortage of citizens willing to enlist in the US military, and issues with recruitment and retaining strategies could have contributed to the incident at Fort Hood.