The young boy who appears in a video by the terrorist organization the Islamic State was positively identified as a native of the Brussels commune of Saint-Josse.
Flemish newspaper De Morgen and Het Laatste Nieuws report that the man who claimed in the video to the child’s father is in fact his stepfather. He is French and has been established since 2009 in Saint-Josse. The federal prosecutor’s office confirmed that the information published is accurate.
The documentary, which aired on the Vice News website, reveals everyday life in Racca, a city in central Syria held by the Islamic State. The film shows a man called ‘Abdullah al-Belgian’ (Abdullah the Belgian), left Belgium to fight for Islamic State. This presents as a child he claims is his son. Both father and son make threats against those they call “infidels”.
The federal prosecutor’s office became aware of this story and opened an investigation earlier this week to identify the man and the boy. Police in the area of Brussels North (which covers Saint-Josse, Evere and Schaerbeek) said it had also opened an investigation after rumours spread that the child was enrolled in a school in Saint-Josse.
The boy, who is 6 years old, was recognized by a teacher at Joseph Delclef francophone elementary school. The man was also positively identified. According to Het Laatste Nieuws and De Morgen, he went to Syria with his stepson, his wife and two daughters. The federal prosecutor’s office, however, did not confirm this information.