The UN expert group on mercenaries used data from the Belgian police, the judicial authorities and experts for its report. On the basis of the data it concluded that proportionally Belgium has the highest number of recruits in the whole of Europe.
There are currently 207 Belgian jihadi fighting in Syria. 77 Belgian jihadi have been killed in action over the past 5 years and 128 jihadi have returned from Syria. Of those that have returned, 46, most of whom Sharia4Belgium activists, have been or are currently in the process of being prosecuted.
The UN expert group on mercenaries also looked at the way in which jihadi are recruited. Here there have been changes over the years. Initially it was Sharia4Belgium for Belgium that did the most of the recruiting of young men to join IS in Syria. However, currently most new jihadi are recruited through social media, family and friends already in Syria.
"Fee his higher for an IT expert"
Those that recruit jihadi can earn a tidy sum. According to the report they are paid between 1,000 and 9,000 euro per recruit. The higher figure is paid for IT experts and doctors.
The UN expert group on mercenaries’ report won’t be published until next month, however it has already advised the Belgian government to place a greater emphasis on prevention and better integration of the communities from which the jihadi are recruited.