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Police to look out for suspicious beards

11:04 29/03/2013

Police in Antwerp have been asked to keep an eye out for young men who suddenly let their beards grow, in order to prevent more young Flemings travelling to Syria to fight as jihadists, Het Laatste Nieuws reports today. In a letter sent to 2,600 police officers, the head of Antwerp police, Serge Muyters, identifies growing a long beard as an indication of radicalisation. Other signs mentioned in the letter include staying indoors more, wearing long clothing, and changing one’s name, typically to one beginning with Abu. “If you see anything suspicious or receive information from a family member of a young radical who wants to leave to fight in Syria, always write a report,” concludes Muyters in his letter. Thirty young Muslims from Antwerp are currently fighting in Syria, while more young jihadists are believed to have been recruited in Mechelen and Vilvoorde. 

Written by The Bulletin