When I wrote my article bemoaning the lack of information and progress regarding the case of Ayoub el-Khazzani on August 20, 2016, I thought I had done an exhaustive search of the available information on him. I think now that was largely true, but unfortunately, I missed something key. It’s been a long time since I published anything, and in light of the February release of Eastwood’s new movie, I’d like to take the opportunity of my return to go over what I missed and bring you up to speed on the handful of developments that have taken place.
So many times I find myself beginning one story only to end up at a radically different destination than the one I’d intended. The most recent manifestation of this phenomenon started the other day when I decided to revisit the Bazarouj family and more specifically, brother Youssef. Ayoub and his siblings provided the material for one of my earliest articles, and I always like to check up on those I’ve written about previously to see if anything new has emerged. It turns out that Ayoub is now seeking damages for the damages caused by the multiple raids on his property after the Paris attacks. Continue reading
Hind Fraihi, a journalist who went undercover and wrote En immersion à Molenbeek ten years ago, described the district even then as a hotbed of Islamic extremism. Yet the emergence of the Islamic State and the extension of its influence in Belgium has created something different. Whereas earlier preachers and recruiters had sought to legitimize their violent ideology with carefully constructed justifications, the recruiters who aligned themselves with the Islamic State have eschewed all of this in favor of grafting a few basic religious ideas onto the existing career paths of its potential soldiers—a fusion some are calling “gangster Islam.” This serves the needs of an organization that seeks to attack the very heart of Western Civilization by supplying it with a ready-made network of facilitators already schooled by the Underworld. Continue reading