Eurojust Acknowledges Presence of Europeans among Terrorist Groups in Syria
Mar 25, 2013
Head of Eurojust (European Union Judicial Cooperation Unit), Michele Coninsx, acknowledged on Sunday that hundreds of Europeans are joining the armed terrorist groups in Syria.
Coninsx remarks came amidst reports by Belgian newspapers on Belgians who are increasingly joining the armed terrorist groups in Syria.
Russia Today website cited Belgian media outlets as saying that the Belgian Interior Ministry tasked a specialized workgroup with setting procedures to prevent Belgian young men from joining mercenaries in Syria.
Media reports indicate that the number of Belgian armed men in Syria is 50 to 80 people. They arrived in Syria with the help of a banned movement in Belgium that calls itself “Sharia for Belgium.”
Photo: Members of Sharia4Belgium
‘Task Force to investigate Belgian participation in Syrian war’
Interior Minister Joëlle Milquet has launched a Task Force to look into the problem of Belgian youngsters going to Syria to join the civil war there. The Task Force will meet a first time on Monday and includes members of the counter-terrorism unit OCAD, intelligence services, the judicial authorities, the crisis centre and the police.
Over the past weeks, Belgian press reports told about Belgian Muslim converts travelling to Syria to take part in the war under the influence of the extremist organisation Sharia4Belgium. Although Sharia4Belgium was officially dismantled, it still has a big influence behind the scenes, it turns out. It is believed that 50 to 80 young Belgians left their homeland to fight in Syria.
The Task Force will try to find out how it can be avoided that even more youngsters join the Syrian war. Experts will monitor the present situation and examine how the youths can be brought back to Belgium.
Ms Milquet is not a supporter of new legislation to punish those joining the fights in Syria. However, last month anti-terror laws were given more scope. This implies that youngsters joining terrorist organisations to fight, will be subject to prosecution.