By EMERSON VERMAAT
November 6, 2017 - San Francisco, CA – Amersfoort, NL - In the summer of 2014, Souad Mekhennet, a woman of Moroccan-Turkish descent, born and raised in Germany and a professional journalist who is rather critical of the notorious terror group Islamic State (IS or ISIS), traveled to the Syrian-Turkish border. It was near Reyhanli in Southwestern Turkey where she met 27-year-old Abu Yusaf, a senior security commander for ISIS. Mehkennet describes that meeting in the Preface of her book I Was Told To Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad.
But Mekhennet was surprised when she discovered that Abu Yusaf was a Moroccan immigrant in the Netherlands.
“He tried to hide that he was of Moroccan descent and where exactly in Europe he came from, but I noticed his North African features, and when I switched from classical Arabic to Moroccan Arabic he understood and answered in kind. It turned out that he had been born in Morocco but had lived in the Netherlands since his teens…He also spoke Dutch. I would learn later that he had been trained as an engineer.”
The Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) reported in 2017 that the total number of jihadists who had traveled to the conflict area in Syria and Iraq was 280, in addition to 90 children who were either taken from the Netherlands or born in those two Middle Eastern countries. About 50 jihadists returned to the Netherlands and 45 of them are no longer alive.
Most of these jihadists are second- or third-generation Moroccan immigrants from big cities such as Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft, Rotterdam and Utrecht. The Dutch daily newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported on August 23, 2017, that “50 percent of the terrorists who committed terrorist attacks in Europe have a Moroccan migration background.” This leading newspaper mentions Salah Abdeslam (Paris, November 2015), his brother Brahim Abdeslam (Paris, 2015), Chakib Akrouh (Paris, 2015), Abdelhamid Abaaoud (Paris, 2015), Foued Mohamed-Aggad (Paris, 2015), Bilal Hadfi (Paris, 2015), Ayoub El-Khazzani (Thalys train to Paris, August 2015), Mohamed Abrini (Brussels, March 2016), Ibrahim El Bakraoui (Brussels, 2016), his brother Khalid el Bakraoui (Brussels, 2016), Najim Laachraoui (Brussels, 2016) and Abderahman Mechkah (Finland, August 2017).
North African asylum seekers who are lying about their age or country of origin
Abderraham Mechkah is not the real name of the 22-year-old Moroccan asylum seeker who stabbed two Finish women to death in the peaceful Finnish town of Turku on August 18, 2017, the first terrorist attack in Finland since the end of the Second World War! The perpetrator’s real name was Abderrahman Bouanane, Mail Online reported on August 29, 2017. He “lied about his identity and tried to claim asylum as an unaccompanied minor.” “It emerged that the Finish intelligence service had received a tip-off earlier this year about Bouanane. According to the tip-off, the suspect seemed radicalized and was interested in extreme thinking.” The are lots of other similar cases. Knife and car ramming attacks are copycat attacks, inspired or even ordered by ISIS, a diabolical terror organization. There are many cases in Europe, Israel and quite recently in Manhattan, New York.
Souad Mekhennet, who speaks both the Arabic and the North African Berber languages, noticed in 2015 that a lot of so-called asylum seekers from Syria were in fact North Africans.
“While walking around the stations, I noticed that most of the refugees were men. Many told me they’d come from Damascus, though they didn’t have the lighter olive skin tones common in Syria; instead, they looked more North African, with curlier hair and darker skin and eyes. When I asked which part of the city, they walked away. An Austrian security official told me that there were thriving black markets for Syrian passports in Croatia, Serbia, Hungary and Austria, in addition to Turkey.” “Authorities along the way might have asked for names and countries of origin, but they weren’t scrutinizing documents. Opportunists could easily pass through the borders simply by claiming to be Syrian, without offering any proof.”
The courts in Germany cannot cope with hundreds of thousands (!) of cases from all those who appeal against rejected asylum requests. This was reported on Dutch TV on November 5, 2017. From all those asylum seekers who applied for asylum between early 2015 and September 2017, about 30 to 40 percent were rejected and most of them appeal to the courts. It is virtually impossible to deport them to their home countries. Chancellor Merkel’s promise that German society will be able to cope with the rapid influx of refugees (more than one million in 2015!) is rubbish.
Dangerous Moroccan mafia networks in Europe
Many Moroccan jihadists and terrorists began their “career” as petty criminals. Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the 27-year-old mastermind behind the Paris attacks in November 2015, was an ISIS operative who had a history of petty crime and radicalized after his release from prison. He traveled to Syria in 2013 where he joined ISIS. He committed war crimes and proudly showed them in ISIS internet postings. He was “laughing as he drags the corpses of his Syrian victims behind his truck,” Mail Online reported.
In the Netherlands and Belgium frustrated second-generation Moroccan immigrants formed extremely violent youth gangs armed with kalashnikovs, semtex and dealing in drugs. These gangs have been described as “Mocro Mafia” (“Moroccan Mafia”) by two Dutch journalists, Wouter Laumans and Marijn Schrijver, in a book that first appeared in 2014 and also in the book “Doorgeschoten” (“riddled with bullets”) written by Dutch crime specialist Paul Vugts. Vugts is furthermore the author of the more recent book “Afrekeningen” (“Mafia style murders”) where he describes a gang war between Moroccan drug gangs and other criminal gangs, chiefly in Amsterdam but also in Antwerp and Spain. Among those killed was 23-year-old Nabil Amzieb (in March 2016). He was beheaded and his head was found on the sidewalk near a Morcocan cafe in Amsterdam-South. The surprised owners, by the way, were not involved in the killing.
A similar book appeared in Belgium in 2017. Its title is “Borgerrokko Mafia,” written by Belgian journalist Raf Sauviller. The latter book describes extensive Moroccan crime networks in “Borgerhout,” a notorious suburb of the port city of Antwerp. Local Moroccan gangs in “Borgerokko” are specialized in importing drugs from Latin America and Africa.
Another dangerous activity by Moroccan criminals is safe-cracking with explosives (usually semtex), “plofkraken” in Dutch. They often drive in stolen Audis to a German a town close to the border to blow up cash machines or ATMs which are located just outside a bank or a shop and then make off with the cash in their Audis. They only do this at night, when it is dark. Because they prefer fast driving Audis for this kind of job, they are nicknamed “the Audi gang.”
Between 250 and 300 Moroccan criminals, who are between 20- and 30-years-old, are gang members and most of them live in the city of Utrecht located in the center of Holland. They are protected by their families – this is matter of honor.
Young Moroccan criminals and jihadists justify their activities by claiming that they are victims of discrimination and lack of opportunities. Yet, quite a few of them drive expensive cars and have a lot of cash money from criminal activities. There is also the problem of honor in Islamic and North African culture. These people are only too often hotheaded and aggressive and oppress women. The younger they are, the more difficult it often is for the authorities and the police to deal with them.
Dutch politician Geert Wilders is on trial once again, now because his call for “fewer Maroccans” is considered hate speech. I certainly do not agree with everything that Wilders says or does, but to put him on trial for this is not right. And Wilders emphasized more than once that well integrated Moroccans who abide by the law are wellcome. We must also keep in mind that Wilders’ life is in constant danger. Some of his body guards turned out to be corrupt. They were Dutch-Moroccans, by the way.
Emerson Vermaat is an investigative reporter in the Netherlands specialized in crime and terrorism. His latest book is: “Terreuraanslagen in Europa door Radicale Moslims” (“Terror Attacks in Europe by Radical Muslims”), Aspekt Publishers, Soesterberg, the Netherlands.
Souad Mekhennet, I Was Told to Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad (London/New York: Virago, 2017), pp. 1-5 (Preface), p. 287 (“…instead, they looked more North African…”).
General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), 2016 in Review, p. 2 (Jihadists at home and abroad); AIVD, Aanslagen bevestigen Dreigingsbeeld, Press release, June 23, 2017,
Algemeen Dagblad (Rotterdam), August 23, 2017, Helft aanslagplegers heeft Marokkaanse achtergrond.
Mail Online, August 29, 2017, Moroccan “teenager” who killed women in Finland terror attack is TWENTY-TWO as it emerges he lied about his identity and tried to claim asylum as an unaccompanied minor,
NOS Journaal (Dutch TV), November 5, 2017 Duitse rechters bedolven onder asielzaken, zoals die van Afghaan Hassay,
“Veel afgewezen asielzoekers stappen namelijk naar de rechter, die elk geval opnieuw bekijkt. Daardoor blijven andere zaken liggen, waarschuwen de rechters.” “Van de mensen die tussen 2015 en september 2017 asiel aanvroegen in Duitsland werd tussen de 30 en 40 procent afgewezen. Een aanzienlijk deel dient een bezwaar tegen dit besluit in bij een bestuursrechtbank.”
Mail Online, November 16, 2016, Smile of a deprived killer terror mastermind Laughing as he drags corpses of his Syrian victims,
Independent, 19 November 2016, Abdelhamid Abaaoud dead: What do we know about the Belgian ‘mastermind’ behind the Paris terror attacks?
Wouter Laumans en Marijn Schrijver, Mocro Maffia: Geld, Ambitie, Hoogmoed en Verraad in de Onderwereld (Amsterdam: Lebowski Publishers, 2014.
Paul Vugts, Doorgeschoten: De Nieuwe Generatie Onstuitbare Criminelen (Amsterdam: De Kring 2014), pp. 213-220 (“Een hoofd op de stoep. De liquidatie en onthoofding van Nabil Amzieb.”)
Paul Vugts, Afrekeningen: De Onderwereldoorlog op Straat en in de Rechtszaal (Amsterdam: De Kring, 2017).
Raf Sauviller, Borgerrokko Maffia: Marokkaanse Drugsmisdaad in Antwerpen (Antwerp: Horizon, 2017).
Autobahn, Waarom plofkrakers altijd een Audi kiezen,
RTL Nieuws (Dutch TV), Februari 23, 2017, Duitse politie arresteert vijf plofkrakers Audibende,
Elsevier (Amsterdam), December 6, 2016, Zit beruchte Marokkaanse bende achter reeks plofkraken?
©2017 Emerson Vermaat. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.