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    OCAM: around 100 Belgian children in Iraq and Syria

    © Belga
    OCAM believes that there are around 100 children in Iraq and Syria with links to Belgium. Some 80% are in the hands of so-called IS which is a cause for concern.
    © Belga

    The Organ for Coordinating the Terrorist Threat (known as “OCAM”) considers that around 100 Belgian children are currently in Iraq and Syria. La Dernière Heure, De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad are reporting this on Wednesday saying that, of these, 80% are in the hands of Islamic State.

    OCAM considers that there are “around 100” children in Iraq and Syria. These either have Belgian nationality or residency, or parents in contact with Belgium. This was indicated by the Justice Minister, Koen Geens, in response to a question by the Flemish deputy, Jean-Jacques De Gucht.

    These “approximate” estimates, from a source within the Ministry of Justice, suggest that of these there are some 29 children who were born in Belgium and around 70 born in Syria and Iraq. Of these 100 children, there are 38 girls and 42 boys. The sex of around thirty of the children is unknown.

    The organisation OCAM estimates that 60% of such children are aged between 0 to 4, 20% 4 to 8 years old and 10% 9 to 12. This leaves 10% aged 12 and over. The organisation is not taking into account those who left Belgium as teenagers and who have reached the age of majority. This latter category of individuals is now classed as adult foreign fighters.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times