Red-haired Dutch jihadist killed on battlefield
Red-haired jihadist Thijs Belmonte was one of around 300 Dutch jihadists and prominent ISIS fighter according to Dutch media. Belmonte has been killed on the battlefield.
Published: February 28, 2019, 11:24 am
According to the NRC Handelsblad, reports of his death has been confirmed.
Belmonte journeyed to the battlefield in 2013 at the age of 24. The Dutch native from Rotterdam converted to Islam in 2005. He obtained military training and stood out as one of the better fighters. He advised the Islamic State on who from the Netherlands could be trusted and who could not.
On Facebook, Thijs caused a stir by burning his Dutch passport, after which the Public Ministry summoned Belmonte to stand trial for participating in a terrorist organisation. He was one of the jihadists featuring on the national terrorist list.
Thijs’ family, according to the NRC, declined to comment on his death. Earlier Thijs’ father had confirmed that his son was in Syria.
Belmonte made the news in 2013 when a photo of him appeared posed in chair with camouflage clothing and an AK-47 machine gun. He was believed to be living in Aleppo at the time. Belmonte spoke fluent Arabic and could partially recite the Koran.
His heavily pregnant wife later joined him in Syria. In the war zone, he answered to the name of Anwar. The red-haired Dutchman was once seen among the public when an IS executioner beheaded a victim.
More and more jihadists are escaping from the collapsed caliphate in Syria and Iraq, exactly as the Dutch secret service predicted.
The caliphate, once the size of the American state of Texas, is now only a strip of land on the Syrian-Iraq border. Bombers and drones hunt the remaining jihadists daily. Even so, some ISIS fighters still prefer life (or death) under their black flag.
At the end of January, four Dutch jihadists suddenly appeared in Turkey. Two of them are now back in the Netherlands, while two others are still in a Turkish cell. It is the slow trickle that Dutch security services have been warning about for some time which has been manifesting in six ways.
1. Slipping over the border to Turkey.
2. Escaping to Chechnya
3. In camps or in prison
4. Via human traffickers
5. Under the radar in Libya, Mali, Afghanistan or even the Philippines.
6. The golden ticket: the Dutch consulate
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