Tuesday, 03 February 2015
Mohamed A., a 21-year-old from Vilvorde who has been in jail since October after he went to fight in Syria, is suspected of taking part in the detention and torture of Jejoen Bontinck, another young Belgian who joined Syrian rebels, according to allegations made by the victim. Court sources say the suspect strongly denies the allegations. Brussels Council Chamber will decide on Tuesday whether the accused should be remanded in custody or not. His attorney chose not to comment on the case. Mohamed A. was arrested with 2 other suspects, Mohamed S.C. and Zouheir B. on October 22nd, 2014. The 3 young men had joined a group of radical Islamists under the influence of Fouad Belkacem, leading figure of Sharia4Belgium.
When other young members of the group went to Syria at the end of 2012, the 3 men stayed in touch with them, and eventually Mohamed A. and Mohamed S.C. joined them there in March 2013. They rubbed shoulders with other youngsters from Vilvorde joining the burgeoning ultra-radical groups involved in the civil war.
Mohamed A and Mohamed S.C. came back to Belgium in May 2013. The first one reported to the local police station in Vilvorde of his own accord. The second one went back to fight in Syria for a few weeks before eventually turning back in October 2013.
The 2 partners were eventually arrested last October 22nd with Zouheir B. They are suspected of involvement with a terrorist organisation.