A radical Muslim organization in Belgium was a terror group that brainwashed youngsters and sent them to fight in Syria, proseutors said Monday as a trial started for dozens of its alleged leaders and members.
Only eight of the 46 suspected members of the Sharia4Belgium group were present for the trial’s opening, and a ninth appeared after the lunch break. Many others are believed to be fighting in Syria or to have died in the country’s civil war.
The group’s alleged leader, Fouad Belkacem, who is in custody, was led, handcuffed, into court by armed guards.
The prosecutor cited parents of some of the young Belgian jihadists as saying their children would never have thought of fighting overseas if they had not been brainwashed by Sharia4Belgium.