Bilal El Marchohi
Born: 26 July 1995;
Place of Birth: Antwerp, Belgium;
Bilal El Marchohi is a Belgian citizen of Moroccan descent, raised in the Antwerp neighborhood of Borgerhout. The earliest trace of militant activity we found, was his participation in a protest against the Israeli army in November 2012 – as can be seen in a picture report that the Belgian daily Het Nieuwsblad published at the time.
He left for Syria with his wife (Ilham Borjani from Gouda in the Netherlands) in October 2013, apparently recruited by Shariah4Belgium. First they joined the then al-Qaida affiliated Jabhat an-Nusra, but very soon they switched sides to the Islamic State.
El Marchohi’s Islamic State entry file mentions that he entered in November 2013, recommended by Abu Hamza al-Belgiki. That is likely Nabil Kasmi, one of the very first European fighters in Syria, who was also part of Shariah4Belgium.
El Marchohi used the kunya ‘Abu Fudayl al-Belgiki’ and was an avid social media user. In September 2014, he posted a picture on his Facebook account, showing his foot on the logo of a Free Syrian Army faction with the words: “You are overrun, trampled like a cockroach.”
In November 2014, he threatened Belgium and the Netherlands with a sort of poem on his Twitter account. “Oh Belgium, sweet and tender’, it went. “The moment of pleasure. The blade nicely blunt. Oops, head off. Fear in your heart. Keep your hands off from our brothers. Oh Netherlands, know that your people will end up in our hands. Blood will flow to compensate. Necks will be cut.”
El Marchohi was one of the Belgians for whom the Paris ‘Gare du Nord’ was completely cleared in May 2017. His picture had been circulating jointly with that of Belgian Islamic State operative Tarik Jadaoun and an Afghan Islamic State suspect, after which a counter clerck thought having recognized them on a Paris bound train.
After Jadaoun was caught in Mosul (Iraq) in July 2017, he stated that he doesn’t know El Marchohi, according to US interrogation reports we earlier obtained.
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