Europen police arrested at least 10 alleged ISIS recruiters in Belgium and Germany in a series of raids conducted yesterday.
Daily Mail reported that the Belgian police seized terror cells in different areas in Brussels such as the Molenbeek quarter, where suspected ISIS recruiters were hiding. There are reportedly about 500 recruited militants in Belgium, which holds the largest ISIS-linked network in Europe, who travelled to fight in Syria since 2012.
“The raids were carried out as part of an investigation into a recruitment network linked to Islamic State,” the federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement in the same report. “The investigation helped determine that several people had travelled to Syria to join Islamic State.”
As commanded by the counter-terrorism judge in Liege, mobile phones and computers were also seized during the operations for further investigation.
The German police also conducted a raid in different locations in Bremen. As ordered by the city-state’s top security official, a suspected ISIS-linked group called Islamischer Foerderverein Bremen was reportedly banned in the country to prevent further possible recruitments.
A French teenager, who escaped ISIS recruitment, previously told CNN how network members entice people into joining the extremist group.
“I was trying to get a passport to leave for Syria. I had names and contacts, and this woman spoke to me on social media; she wanted to go to Syria with someone, she didn’t want to go alone,” the 15-year-old testified. “She was also trying to control everything I was doing.”
The teenager converted to Islam but was later enlightened about the difference between her new religion and ISIS.
“I am not talking about Daesh – it’s a sect, it has nothing to do with Islam,” she said.
“Any person who is not at ease with themselves can be trapped,” she warned. “They [the recruiters] always know the right words to use; they aren’t dumb, they’re smart. It’s manipulation, and unfortunately I got trapped.”
ISIS reportedly recruited at least 6,900 members from Western countries to fight in Syria.