News & Articles

April 2016

  • Islamic State pushing for “clash of civilisations”, say researchers

    Islamic State pushing for “clash of civilisations”, say researchers

    By TERI SCHULTZ BRUSSELS – Years before the rest of the world woke up to the fact that Belgium was producing, per capita, more fighters for radical Islamist armies than any other western country, Pieter van Ostaeyen knew what town they came from, what nom de guerre they used after arriving in Iraq or Syria, and when they changed units on the ground.As it dawned gradually and belatedly on officials and the public that these home-grown jihadists were being hardened with on-the-job training in battlefield tactics and anti-Western attitudes, the Mechelen-based IT expert was already long pecking away at his blog in his free time. Using open-source information to compile his statistics, van Ostaeyen posits that the Belgian government has consistently undercounted the number of its citizens who have joined the ranks of the “al-Belgikis” on the battlefield.Van Ostaeyen and his research partner, Belgian journalist Guy van Vlierden, believe that the number of Belgians who have at some point been active in Syria or Iraq was around... Read More »
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