Father who tracked down ‘jihadi’ son in Syria returns to help other families find European volunteers

Heather Saul, The Independent

A father who says he risked his own life to rescue his son from militants in Syria has been returning to the region in a bid to help other families track down European youngsters.

Former Belgian soldier Dimitri Bontinck claims he undertook a dangerous ten-month journey to find his teenage son Jejoen Bontinck in Syria.

The 19-year-old was a talented breakdancer who appeared in a music video before his political and religious views became increasingly radical after he converted from Catholicism to Islam, his father told Sky News.

Mr Bontinck says he expressed fears his son was becoming radicalised to police and Belgium agencies, who he claims failed to act.

Jejoen then allegedly travelled to join fighters in Syria. Mr Bontinck claims Belgian authorities told him they would not be able to assist in the search for his son, leading him to travel to the region three times to try and find him.

This perilous journey saw Mr Bontinck come into contact with both local people and militants – who at one point allegedly held him captive over suspicions he was spying.

The war veteran told Sky: “They put a cap over my head and handcuffed me. They were beating me on the head and I was thinking: ‘Is it all worth it?'”

Mr Bontinck says he was reunited with his son on his third trip to Syria in 2013, who is now back in Antwerp and facing trial for alleged membership of a banned organisation.


Jejoen denied being a member of a banned organisation in 2013, telling the BBC he was working to deliver medical supplies and help the injured.

Mr Bontinck blasted the Belgian government’s “wrong attitude and stigmatisation” in its decision to prosecute his son, claiming it is creating “more violence against the West”.

He says he now feels obligated to help other parents track down their children.

“I have no other choice than to help those going through the same kind of trauma and nightmare I experienced,” he said.

“I thought I would never return to Syria, but when mothers are calling me and crying on the phone because nobody’s helping them … when they ask to meet me, I’m not going to say no.

“It’s so sad that parents like me and so many thousands of parents worldwide are standing alone, that nobody’s helping them. It’s disgusting really, it’s selfish.”

Mr Bontinck has completed eight journeys to Syria and says he plans to return again in the coming weeks.

SOURCE:    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/father-who-tracked-down-jihadi-son-in-syria-returns-to-help-other-families-find-european-volunteers-9960276.html

Categories: Belgium, Europe, Syria

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3 replies

  1. By Mark White, Home Affairs Correspondent

    A father who rescued his own jihadi son from the clutches of Syrian rebels is now travelling back to the country to track down other young foreign fighters.

    Dimitri Bontinck risked his life on a perilous 10-month quest to find his teenage son, travelling to Syria three times before the pair were eventually reunited in late 2013.

    Despite the continuing danger, the former Belgian soldier is now helping other families, including some from the UK, in the search for their loved ones in the war-torn country.

    Mr Bontinck told Sky News: “I have no other choice than to help those going through the same kind of trauma and nightmare I experienced.”

  2. http://www.alislam.org/v/259.html

    Prophecy of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) fullfilled with the advent of the Promised Messiah (as) that he will end the religious wars.

    The True Islamic Concept of Jihad
    The True Islamic Concept of Jihad
    Add to cart
    by Hadrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad

    Part 4 of a review of the Pakistani Government’s “White Paper”: Qadiyaniyyat – A greave threat to Islam.

    In 1984 the Islamic government of Pakistan set aside all Islamic injuctions and took upon itself the burden of depriving the Ahmadi Muslims of many basic human rights including religious social freedoms. In an attempt to justify this action, the government of Pakistan published a so-called White Paper under the title ‘Qadiyaniyyat – Islam kay liya Sangin Khatrah’ (Qadiyaniyyat – A Grave Threat to Islam).

    Although there was nothing new in this so-called White Paper and the Jama’at literature already included detailed answers to all the issues which were raised, nevertheless Hadrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IV, the then Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, answered these allegations in a series of Friday sermons. These sermons (in Urdu) were published by the London Mosque in 1985 and the English translation is now being published.

    Hadrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IVrh delivered this sermon on February 15, 1985 at the Fadl Mosque London and answered the allegations dealing with the true Islamic concept of Jihad by quoting the Holy Qur’an, the history of early Muslims, the writings of the Promised Messiahas and other historical references. [ read online

  3. It shows how much parents love their children and do not want their children to be killed for a meaningless anti-Islamic, anti-religion war. Those Muslim Clerics or any Muslim or Christian who is exhorting the young children to fight is doing disservice to Islam and religion.

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