A 19-year-old from the Aarhus suburb of Viby has reportedly become at least the 16th Dane to die while fighting in Syria’s civil war.
TV2 Østjylland reported on Thursday that the family of Ahmad Hallak has confirmed that the young man died in Syria on Monday.
Family members told the TV station that Hallak was intensely motivated by his religious beliefs and strongly inspired by members of the Muslim community in Aarhus.
The family said that the 19-year-old was severely injured by a roadside bomb in Syria on July 21st and was moved to three different hospitals before dying from his wounds one week later.
Hallak’s Viby-based family said that he went to Syria last summer with his 21-year-old brother, who is still in Syria.
In June, the Danish security police’s Center for Terror Analysis estimated that at least 100 individuals have left Denmark for Syria to fight and that at least 15 of them have died.
Aarhus’s Muslim community has been under intense scrutiny because of the mosque Grimhøjmoskeen, which is suspected of radicalising young Muslim men. Police say that they are aware of 22 young belonging to the mosque who have travelled to Syria to fight in that country’s civil war.
An imam at Grimhøjmoskeen, Aba Bilal Ismail, was caught on video earlier this month praying for God to “destroy the Zionist Jews” in Berlin. He now faces a criminal complaint.
The Foreign Ministry's citizen services department (Borgerservice) told The Local that it could neither confirm nor deny the report of the man's death, and it was not immediately known whether Hallak belonged to Grimhøjmoskeen.
Denmark is said to be eyeing a tougher approach to keep aspiring jihadists from travelling to Syria.