Monday, 24 November 2014 - 13:38
Ex-Jihadist now Amsterdam social worker
Ten years ago Bilal (30) was a recruiter for jihadism. Today he tries to keep young people in Amsterdam on the right path by working as a social worker. With help from the municipality and community, Bilal was deradicalised after his imprisonment for being a jihad recruiter. But he has little confidence in the Amsterdam approach to extremist youths. Earlier his year his sister (18) decided to join the jihad in Syria, even though the municipality had kept an eye on her as a potential jihadist for months. Bilal was convicted of several offenses in 2005 and 2006, something he informed his employer about. The director deliberately decided to hire him anyway. "Bilal is a very good youth worker. hi gives young people the feeling that they can participate again." Bilal helps young people with things like debt repayment, attending school and police and justice contacts. "I keep myself far away from deradicalisation." he said.