How Belgian Became Jihadi Poster Child
At 14, he imitated the King of Pop for a reality TV contest and praised the American Dream. By 18, Jejoen Bontinck was fulfilling a different aspiration: waging jihad in Syria, along with 4,000 of his fellow Europeans. He was raised Catholic, converted for a Muslim girlfriend and then joined Sharia4Belgium, which recruited anti-Assad fighters, many of whom joined ISIS. After returning from Syria, Bontinck became a star witness in a terrorism trial, and European authorities will be parsing his testimony for years to come, trying to prevent their youth from becoming radicalized.