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Six Belgian IS women and ten children repatriated from Syria

Six Belgian women who used to adhere IS ideologies and their ten children have been transferred back to Belgium from their refugee camp in Syria. It's the first time that the Belgian authorities are taking back adults linked to IS. 

The six women were all taken to prison on arrival - five of them have already been convicted of terrorism. Their children are aged between 2 and 9. All of them will be accommodated elsewhere and receive special treatment. Some are underfed while others cannot read or write. 

The repatriation follows a decision from the Belgian National Security Council in March. DNA research was conducted in the Syrian camp to confirm the women's identity and all six had to abnegate IS terrorist ideologies before they could return to Belgium. 

It remains to be seen whether all terrorist risks are gone now, says the Belgian federal prosecutor Frédéric Van Leeuw: "We never have a 100 percent guarantee. I just see that other western governments are doing the same," he told the VRT. 

The situation in the Syrian camp is dramatic and can also serve as a source of new terrorist ideologies, he underlines. "It could be the restart of a new IS and it was time for us to take our responsibility." Van Leeuw added that the children are not in a good way and he hopes they can get a normal life in Belgium. 


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