Meanwhile the war in Syria had been raging for about a year and a half. Reports started appearing claiming European Muslims were fighting in Syria. It would only take a couple of months before the first Belgian and Dutch jihadis were identified. On February 16, 2013 another horrible video from Syria (first published by @hlk01) was posted. There was Dutch heard in the video. Later that week, the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, published an article claiming that Dutch security forces (AIVD) were already investigating the matter.
On March 7, Eurojust first confirmed that there were Belgians amongst the European jihadis in Syria. On March 15 and 16, 2013 Harald Doornbos and myself found three YouTube videos (originally posted by Halab News Network and since deleted by Google) in which I clearly heard some Flemish guys. Belgian media later picked up on this story. Later, the parents of Brian De Mulder and Jejoen Bontinck recognized their sons in the videos. The Belgian far right extremist party Vlaams Belang succeeded in luring in one of the families for their own propaganda and the father of Bontinck even went to Syria in search for his son. They all blamed Sharia4Belgium.
Since then reports about the Belgian jihadis appeared weekly. On April 10, 2013 the Belgian weekly magazine Knack published an article on the Belgian jihadis in Syria, claiming that already 12 of them were killed (these reports as of today remain unconfirmed). Here is an overview of those who died fighting in Syria or those who got arrested trying to get there.
On the 22nd of June, Belgian newspapers De Standaard and De Morgen gave an extensive overview of the developments concerning Belgian jihadis in Syria. This is all because of the announcement of the death of ‘Abd ar-Rahmān Ayāshī, a French-Syrian who had left Belgium back in 2012 after he was sentenced to 8 years in jail. ‘Abd ar-Rahmān Ayāshī became a battalion-leader of Suqūr as-Shām, leading about 600 in battle.