Approximately 115 Belgian jihadist children in Syria or Iraq
Tuesday, 05 December 2017
Jan Jambon's concerns in this sphere include children trained by Daesh from six years old within the so-called "Lion Cubs of the Caliphate”, or that of youngsters who have become adults in this environment.
Currently, around 115 children born to Belgian jihadists, and aged under 12, may be in Syria and Iraq. This is according to further information supplied by the minister, Jan Jambon (New Flemish Alliance), following a question by the cdH deputy, Georges Dallemagne. The information has been relayed on Tuesday by La Libre Belgique.
The majority of these approximately 100 children are presently under six. The minister notes that it is thought that most of these have been “exposed to violence and potential indoctrination.” However he says that the Belgian authorities know of no “cases of minors who were involved in actual acts of violence.” The situation does seem potentially more problematic in the case of children trained by Daesh from six years old within the so-called “Lion Cubs of the Caliphate”, or that of youngsters who have become adults in this environment.
Although some children were taken by their parents to war zones, others were born in Iraq or Syria, in some cases to Belgian jihadists who were subsequently killed. La Libre Belgique thus learned that one of the Belgians was killed in a US air strike leaving two children in the area, one of whom was born to his Syrian wife. As this jihadist was born in Belgium, his children have an automatic right to Belgian nationality.
Jan Jambon says that “all minors returning from Syria or Iraq will be subject to monitoring by youth protection courts and community youth support agencies. Moreover, they may also be monitored by Local Task Forces (LTF) and the Comprehensive Local Security Cells (known in Belgium as ‘CSILs’) if necessary.”