Monday, July 17, 2017

The Kamikaze Riders

When Belgian police arrested two brothers in Anderlecht, both were members of a biker gang with previous connections to Islamist terrorism. The Kamikaze Riders had gained international notoriety in 2015 when two of the group’s longest-serving members were jailed for planning terror attacks on Brussels. Composed of about fifty members, the group of bikers is notorious for riding en masse through the heavily trafficked avenues of Brussels.

Said and Mohammed Saouti Kerai, the two leaders are now in jail.
The Kamikaze Riders came together as an unofficial group in 2003 after its founding members started to publicly experiment with motorcycle tricks and train young men from the area interested in motorcycle and ATV stunt riding. Their logo, a samurai with an upright katana in his left and right hands, aligns with the group’s self-description as “street samurai”.

Last week’s arrests in Anderlecht implicated Saïd’s two older brothers, Akim and Khalid, who were detained after police seized detonators, AK47s, and stolen police uniforms in a storage unit rented by the brothers. They were accused of preparing a terrorist attack on Belgian soil and are being held in police detention before facing charges in court, a sentence that could carry up to sixteen years in prison.