Four more children of Belgian IS widows will arrive in Belgium on Monday
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    Four more children of Belgian IS widows will arrive in Belgium on Monday

    The children had to be brought back within 6 weeks. Credit: Belga

    On Monday afternoon, four more children of Belgian IS women will arrive at Brussels Airport Zaventem.

    The children are two 7-year-old-boys and two 5-year-old-boys, who are the eldest children of Tatiana Wielandt (27) and her sister-in-law Bouchra Abouallal (26). Wielandt and Abouallal, who are from the Antwerp province, are still held in a Turkish prison. Wielandt’s 3-year-old son and Abouallal’s 1-year-old daughter are still with them.

    The children, who were all born in Belgium but were taken to Syria by their mothers, will fall under the authority of the Antwerp juvenile court. However, they will first be taken to an Antwerp hospital to be examined, but they are reportedly in good health, reports Het Nieuwsblad.

    In 2013, the two women went to Syria to join their husbands in the terrorist organisation Islamic State. After their husbands died, both women remarried another IS terrorist, but they have reportedly also died. Since 2017, the women and their children stayed in a Kurdish camp in the North of Syria. In Belgium, both women have been sentenced to five years in prison for terrorism, reports De Standaard.

    They have started proceedings against the Belgian State three times in recent years, and demanded that they would be repatriated with their children.

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    In October, they managed to escape the camp and crossed the border into Turkey, where they surrendered to the authorities.

    In February 2019, two daughters of another Belgian IS terrorist were also brought back to Belgium by Turkey. The woman is still held in a Turkish prison, and her children have been staying with their grandmother in Belgium.

    In June 2019, another six children, all orphans, were brought back to Belgium.

    Reportedly, over 50 children of Belgian parents would still be in Syria, and ten more of them might be brought back in the near future, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.

    The Brussels court decided at the end of 2019 that Belgium has to help bring back the children of four Antwerp IS fighters from the Kurdish refugee camps, and gave the Belgian State six weeks to do so.

    If Belgium does not help the children within that period, the state has to pay a penalty of €5,000 per child per day.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times