Hijra, Part 2: To Syria and Back

The following video is the second part of an Israeli documentary about the hijra — the migration of mujahideen from Europe to Syria, and then back again to Europe. The interviews with a father who went to Syria to try to find his son — a Flemish convert who joined the jihad — are particularly affecting.

Many thanks to D@rLin|{ for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Previously: Part 1.


13:48   When you convert? Like six years ago.
13:51   His name was Michael De La Forte, he took the Arabic name Yunes.
13:54   A teenager, who joined “Sharia4Belgium”, and immediately labeled everyone around him as infidels,
13:59   those one should be cautious around and one day go to war against.
14:02   You eat at their house? (parents) I don’t eat with them, but
14:05   if there is water I’ll drink some water, Insh’allah. The main thing, I was searching for a better life.
14:11   Kuffar, they don’t have this. If you see if they are in trouble, they run away like chickens It’s so funny that you call them Kuffar.
14:17   It’s amazing.
14:20   I cannot call them believers, can I?
14:23   The first thing my father said before I came to Islam,
14:26   he says: “You are a traitor to your own country”.
14:29   That’s the Fiqra ( idea).
14:32   Yunes’ video testimony is the only one on record in Europe today
14:36   from those who waged Jihad in Syria and came back.
14:39   And for the first time, he tells of his experiences as a Jihadi,
14:43   while preparing for a trial in Belgium.
14:46   He is under house arrest and cannot meet the journalists, so we called him using a computer.
14:50   ”Peace upon you, Yunes.” “Greetings.”
14:53   Hoping that the Belgians will not notice this interview.
14:56   Yunes immediately reminds us of our previous talk,
14:59   then in the Coffee Shop. You remember we met before?
15:02   It was two years in the cafe, I don’t remember the name? With the red sofas.
15:06   We saw the video and first you all claimed to, like, “We are Palestinians”,
15:11   You know, the thing that journalists do.
15:15   They want to give you confidence, they make you feel OK.
15:21   But for me, it does not matter. Here, before our eyes, a Belgian guy, who converted to Islam,
15:25   went to wage Jihad and came back to tell how it all happens right under the noses
15:30   of the European Intelligence Services You don’t have to be a tour guide
15:34   to find your road to Turkey.
15:37   Everybody knows how to take a plane, and, once you get there,
15:40   there are people over there, even over there Turkish people, who know how to get to the borders.
15:45   How you cross the border? How? You phone them? They take you?
15:49   There are a lot of options There are people who have contacts There are people like me, I didn’t have contacts,
15:55   because I don’t want to talk with everybody, because at that moment it was “Code Red”.
15:58   You can cross by military way,
16:01   Even at Turkish border, you give them $50 and you are across.
16:05   But the most of the people I know, they give money to people who live across the border,
16:11   and at night they let you cross the barbed wire.
16:15   and, of course, there is a policy in Turkey.
16:18   They look like this.
16:21   If you go, it’s not their problem.
16:24   If you come back, you have problem.
16:27   And then you meet with a guy and you get your weapon, you get your personal tools?
16:32   You are being welcomed, you get some meals. People gonna ask you what is the reason,
16:38   why you came to Syria. Some people want to do humanitarian jobs.
16:41   Some want to live in the shadow of Caliphate. Here is the first account of what happened to
16:46   all his friends from the “Sharia4Belgium” group in the Islamic State.
16:50   Abu Attiq, I think he died in a battlefield, he was hurt badly.
16:58   And I think he pulled out two grenades and took out six or seven.
17:02   Abu Attiq is the one with the Afghani hat?
17:05   No, the one who looks like… He was in your reportage.
17:10   You picked him out especially.
17:14   Abu Mujahid also. Abu Mujahid died?
17:18   Abu Mujahid yes. He is Shahid, yes.
17:21   I know they invaded the house and there was a firefight.
17:24   This is what I heard from his family. Between them and the Syrian regime?
17:29   I think it was with the Free Syrian Army.
17:33   There were… a few, somebody from Willworda,
17:36   Abu Faludja, Alwasaqi Hussein.
17:39   There were a lot of bodies. Also over there is his family, I have seen,
17:44   named, two brothers from each other, also from Jamma,
17:50   they were Shahids. We lost a lot of heroes.
17:55   But… What about Abu Fares?
17:58   The guy who spoke about… He died also. How?
18:03   They claim with an attack, I don’t know from who.
18:06   But there was an electric pole fell upon his head or something.
18:18   So all of the Yunes’ friends, who were with him at our first interview,
18:21   were killed. This is the redaction room of our newspaper, “Het Laatste Nieuws”.
18:26   Abu Fares, he is considered to be Emir in ISIS.
18:32   But a problem that, alas, he was killed.
18:35   Early. Oh, early. Quite a while ago.
18:38   It’s a Dutch guy. Dutch? Yeah. And he is not in Belgium. He also went to Syria.
18:44   Who is this guy? Do you know him? He is dead also.
18:47   This one, he is still alive. He is in Raqqa. Still alive in Raqqa? Yeah, Raqqa.
18:51   It’s Abu Atiq. He is police in Raqqa. Islamic police. I know, he is police, I know him. You know him very well.
18:56   He is also dead. This guy is also dead.
19:00   Do you know him? Yes. He is dead. Yes, he is dead.
19:04   Tell me about Abu Fares He played a very, very important role
19:08   in selecting and recruiting our Western children.
19:11   He was the right hand of Abu Elqasam, Abu Imran. Yes,
19:14   in Syria he was Emir. He had the function of Emir.
19:17   Emir? Of course he was. He is Emir? He was Emir in Syria, of course.
19:21   I don’t believe they died. You know all the verses from the Koran
19:24   that declare that they are already with… “Those who fell serving Allah, don’t say about them, they are dead.
19:30   They are alive and will be rewarded by the almighty”
19:38   Everybody has his own choice to decide what is good for him and what is not good for him
19:43   Why do they want to arrest you? You didn’t do nothing. Even if you chopped heads there…
19:47   There is no approval at all that I actively participated in war or I did war crimes there, there is no proof of this.
19:55   The only thing they have is a weapon,
19:58   is a picture, three or four pictures of me with Kalashnikov.
20:01   Yunes is on trial right now in Belgium He know he will go to jail for a long time.
20:06   ”I will go to jail, they may give me ten years extra.”
20:11   ”Insh’allah” for the dream he fulfilled when he went to the Islamic State.
20:15   You are not allowed to live somewhere else,
20:19   except at your parents’ place Of course they are all Kuffar.
20:22   You told me last time that you can’t even drink water
20:25   Because they are not eating Halal.
20:28   Every day I have to eat outside or take something away
20:31   I live in my own room, I have my own kitchen,
20:35   in my like a real studio I try to be separate for the things that I want to do,
20:42   and of course we sit together and I make Dawa for them.
20:45   He defends the beheadings done in the name of ISIS.
20:49   I was convinced two years ago, I was convinced yesterday,
20:52   I am convinced today and I will, Insh’allah, be convinced
20:57   that the Sharia has to be in place in every country in the whole world,
21:02   even though they dislike it.
21:05   So this is how the circle is closed: A Belgian teenager, who converted to Islam, was radicalized,
21:10   went to Jihad and came back, now preaches to others.
21:16   In his way, he and his friends will be the rulers of Europe.
21:19   This is clear. It will be, it will happen
21:23   We have proof from the Koran and the Sunna
21:27   that Islam will dominate the whole world,
21:30   from the East to the West, from the West to the East,
21:33   and I am sure for my truth, and I am sure for my religion. And even if they give me 10 million dollars,
21:38   I will not change my religion for one second.
21:44   At the end of March I discover a video from Aleppo TV station
21:48   with only Belgian guys, Belgian members of this organization,
21:52   From here, from Antwerp, I say, I am sure now, no doubt, my son is there.
21:58   Scenes from video taken by Dimitry on his journey to Syria to save his son
22:05   How far can a father go to rescue his son?
22:08   It’s hard do believe but amongst the demonstrators protesting the Syrian regime in Aleppo,
22:12   there is a Belgian citizen, who arrived from Europe,
22:15   in search of his son, who left for the Jihadi State.
22:19   Of course it’s crazy. I made this. Look at what I made. Look
22:27   Hi. Dimitry. Shalom, shalom, how are you?
22:30   Dimitry’s son, Jojon, grew up in a Christian community and was a typical European teenager.
22:36   Of course we have seen the radicalization
22:39   and transfiguration of my son. I am an atheist, his mom is a devout Catholic.
22:44   We brought our son up as a very Western boy.
22:48   We have been in the United States, we’ve been in Spain, all over the world, in Italy.
22:51   You know, most of the youngsters who move up to Syria, they disappear like a thief in the night.
22:57   Nobody of them say to the parents. My son, he said he is going on holiday to Holland with friends.
23:02   I meet his Muslim friends, so I trust him, I believed that they are going to Holland.
23:07   After he said they are going to Cairo He never had been in Egypt to study.
23:13   What they did? They move up to Holland with friends from this organization,
23:17   and they took a plane to Istanbul. Istanbul, Adana and then entered Syria immediately.
23:22   And Abu Fares, the one you show in the video, he was the first one to pick up my son there.
23:27   They what did you do? I feel… this is… I don’t know, something is wrong,
23:30   totally something wrong. 14 of March, he has a small sister, she was 10 years old,
23:36   so the day of the birthday, 14 of March,
23:39   no phone call, no message, from the big brother.
23:42   I really had a feeling, if you believe it or not, I felt that something is wrong.
23:47   Believe me, I feel it. 6 days later on 20 of March,
23:50   I hear news from other parents from Antwerp, from this city,
23:54   who have children, who were also members of this organization,
23:58   that they are in Syria. When I hear that, I know that my son is there
24:06   From 20 of March, every day I was on YouTube, on the Internet,
24:09   searching — pictures, YouTube…
24:12   I couldn’t sleep in the night, until 3, 4, 5 in the night I was looking.
24:16   Videos of Syria on YouTube. Dawa? Yes, Dawa.
24:20   At the end of March I discover a video from an Aleppo TV station
24:24   with only Belgian guys, Belgium members of this organization,
24:28   who were speaking our language. Flemish? Yes, Flemish.
24:32   They said, which means: “Don’t shoot if you don’t see them.”
24:38   When I see that video, when I see that video,
24:41   yellow flowers,
24:45   all friends of my son, very young guys,
24:48   from here, from Antwerp, I said, I am sure now, no doubt, my son is there.
24:55   So, what I need to do?
24:58   I don’t speak Arabic.
25:01   I don’t know anything about the culture, I don’t speak Arabic.
25:04   I don’t have any connections in Syria So what I did?
25:07   I make an appeal in newspaper and in media that I am looking for volunteers.
25:12   to start mission to Syria in search of my missing child.
25:17   Nobody replied.
25:20   When Dimitry discovered that his son was in Syria, he understood that under the Belgian law his son
25:24   did not actually commit any crime, and there is no problem. The father decided to act on his own.
25:29   I even went to the police to say I am afraid , I am worried. My son has disappeared.
25:34   You know what police said to me? It is not your business.
25:38   I said: “Excuse me? What?” They were laughing at me, they took me as a clown.
25:42   It’s disgusting, really. All the parents are in the same tragedy, really.
25:45   I am telling you, it’s disgusting. You know, they took… I said “What? I am afraid”,
25:49   because I know the history, I know that he was under bad influence from the wrong people,
25:55   bad people, wrong people.
25:58   So I am afraid that maybe my son is in a conflict area.
26:02   And they said to me: “It’s not any of your business” Why? Because he is 18? He is an adult?
26:07   At that moment Dimitry understood that he is the only person who is willing to rescue his son from Syria,
26:11   and that the European authorities don’t care whether his son is beheading people or getting a tan somewhere in the Caribbean.
26:15   He is on a vacation and that’s all that matters. Of course we asked for help everywhere.
26:18   Nobody helped us The whole world was watching,
26:21   was watching and doing nothing to see that our own Western child
26:26   was totally in the hands of evil.
26:29   Who answered my appeal in the media?
26:32   Nobody. All the media, yes? So I went off to Syria. — How?
26:37   With media, with one of Holland’s journalists, freelance journalists,
26:40   and a photographer from Mexico, who have connections in Syria,
26:44   who have connections with the rebels.
26:50   So there you enter and come to Aleppo,
26:53   and the only point of view we had was this video with yellow flowers.
26:56   So where do we need to start? The first logical assumption is to start in Aleppo.
27:04   At that time the area was controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra. I sleep with rebels, I sleep with mujahideen.
27:10   They all respect me. They never took one dollar from me.
27:14   They all do it voluntarily. Time for action, we have targets, we are ready to move.
27:20   You know what? I’ve been in so many places, you can’t imagine.
27:23   I think, totally, on my mission. I’ve been 40 days there,
27:26   I think I’ve been in total in more than 125 fighting groups.
27:30   Al-Tawhid Brigade, Jabhat al-Nusra,Thuwar al-Sham Battalions, Mujahideen Shura Council.
27:33   There is no bombing? Of course there was bombing, of course!
27:37   You can see videos that there is bombing above my head. That I need to run and snipers and …
27:41   Of course! You will see me in the car and there is a bombing above me.
27:44   and I’m saying “Do you feel adrenalin in your body?”

2 thoughts on “Hijra, Part 2: To Syria and Back

  1. He is absolutely correct about one thing – The West is a great big CHICKEN! What has happened since the 1960s is the FEMINISATION of Western culture to the point of absurdity. But opposing that is the barbaric male chauvinist HONOR-SHAME culture of Islam which unintelligent Western males of little consequence in society are happy to embrace. Finally they can pretend to be real men – like the super-heroes they mindlessly watched as kids.

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