The team of doctors and psychologists was to have left for Al-Hawl last week to take DNA samples from the women’s children to check whether they are theirs and could be brought to Belgium if a court were to decide this. However, the team didn’t leave after it emerged that the women were no longer at the camp.
A total of 15 Belgian women and around 25 children were at the camp. The Psychologist Gerrit Loots that was to have led the team says that at least three women and 5 children have disappeared. "Several of the women we were to have visited cannot be found. We know that the women have taken court action in order to be allowed to return, but they currently can’t be traced”, Mr Loots told VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs programme ‘De ochtend’.
He added that their disappearance was predictable and that he fears that the women and children have fallen back into the hands of IS. The terror group has become stronger again in the region.
"The camps are no longer under the control of the Kurdish authorities. In fact, they have been taken over by IS. Women that want to return to their own countries are punished. This is a very dangerous situation for them. IS tries to smuggle them to areas under their control. This means that all foreign women and their children are in danger of falling back into the hands of IS”.
Mr Loots calls on the authorities in Belgium and “on our society to bring all the children back immediately and their mothers too. We should have done this two years ago”.
Up until now 20 children of Belgian jihadi brides have been brought back to Belgium. Gerrit Loots says that “They are all doing extremely well. They have integrated, they are no longer traumatised. Really it is a very positive story"
"The other 26 could have had this too. We are now sacrificing people and creating a great danger for the future. Because this will turn round and bite us". The physiologist fears that the women and children will never be found and that they will be brainwashed by IS.