Tarik Jadaoun (28), a Belgian jihadi linked to the Islamic State terror group, has lost his life in Mosul, Iraq, Het Laatste Nieuws, VTM Nieuws and RTL reported on Monday.
Contacted by Belga news agency on Monday afternoon, the Office of the Federal Prosecutor did not confirm the reports by the three Belgian media houses.
Tarik Jadaoun, alias Abu Hamza Al-Belgiki, was also known as New Abaaoud, after Abdelhamid Abbaoud, the presumed leader of the commandos who perpetrated the Paris attacks in November 2015.
The rumour that Jadaoun, who hails from the town of Verviers in Liège Province, was killed has been circulating for a number of days now. It was first announced by Nassim al-Talib, a self-styled specialist on jihadism who seems to be close to Islamic State. The terror group itself later announced it in a message broadcast on Telegram, its communication channel.
According to RTL, Jadaoun was reportedly killed after Mossul was recaptured by the Iraqi army. For the Belgian security services, the news comes as no relief. On the contrary, ISIS terrorists have often been declared dead to divert attention from them, thus enabling them to attack more easily, as had been the case, for example, with Abdelhamid Abaaoud.