Most likely with little thought, European leaders have officially declared war on the Islamic State of the Levant. The European nations have participated for months to bombard the IS forces on the ground in Iraq and on occasion in Syria. This combination now opts the US lable of non-state fighters to enemies of the European nations with all the complications of International Law of War. I read an article where one of Europe’s most renowned attorneys of International Law, Geert-Jan Knoops, made a statement to that effect. In a Dutch news broadcast, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte stated: “ISIS is onze vijand, daarmee zijn we in oorlog.” Translated: “ISIS is our enemy, we are at war with them.”

Declaration of war by PM Mark Rutte can have grave consequences [Dutch]

“ISIS is our enemy, thus we are at war.” Those words, Prime Minister Rutte yesterday spoke in a press conference following the attacks in Paris, may have serious consequences. According to lawyer and professor of international law Geert-Jan Knoops, the ruling may affect, among other [judicial] processes against suspected jihadists.

“The statement of Rutte may mean that people who join IS from the Netherlands can be prosecuted on a different legal basis,” says Knoops in the NOS Radio 1 Journal.

“So far, the prosecution had to go to great lengths to prove the meaning of certain preparations for a trip to Syria to participate in an armed conflict. But now the Prime Minister says we are at war, the prosecution may use another section of the law. That article states that a person providing support in time of war to the enemy, or the State disadvantage in time of war, also can be considered a criminal offense.”


Minister Koenders of Foreign Affairs said last night that the words of Rutte are intended mainly symbolic, but that makes little difference according to Knoops.

“Under international law a declaration of war is not really required. More important is the actual state od affairs. When the Netherlands takes part in bombings against IS, then the Netherlands is participant in the armed conflict, read war; without the need for a formal declaration of war to be issued. It is the combination of the Dutch bombings and the words of Rutte that strengthens the fact that The Netherlands participates in this armed conflict.”


Rutte’s speech was in line with the words of the French President Hollande, when immediately after the attacks on Friday evening spoke of an act of war. That choice of words led here and there to frowns.

“An eerie, almost verbatim repetition of what George W. Bush in the US Congress said shortly after the attacks of September 11,” responded the Flemish writer David Van Reybrouck in a commentary on the website of the VRT.

    Monsieur le Président,

    What an extraordinarily reckless choice of words was yours to have it constantly in your speech on Saturday afternoon about a “act of war”, carried out by a “terrorist army.” Literally, you said:

    “What happened yesterday in Paris and Saint-Denis is an act of war, and facing a war the country should take appropriate measures. An act that was committed by a terrorist army, Daesh (IS) against what we are, a free country that talks with the whole planet. An act of war that was prepared and planned from outside, with domestic support that the investigation will show and provide proof. An act of total barbarism.”

“You fell in their trap, with open eyes still, Monsieur le Président,” he turns to Hollande. “You fell in their trap because you illustrated exactly what the terrorists were hoping for:  A declaration of war, you have accepted their call for jihad eagerly. In your attempt to respond firmly, you have taken a  life-size risk, to further escalate the spiral of violence. That does not seem sensible to me, “said Van Reybrouck.

Continued below the fold – Islamic State Declaration of War

Islamic State Declaration of War — Statement by Abu Muhammad Al Adnani

Rejection of the truth, mockery of it, belying the people of truth, using falsehood in argumentation, plots, mobilization, intimidation, enmity, and war all this is the condition of the disbelievers concerning the truth and the followers of the messengers since ancient times. The known factors of the battle are similar throughout the ages.

Theirs is a conceited and brash encampment of falsehood, which demonstrates itself to be powerful, and subduing, one that no conqueror can dominate nor any defender withstand. But the reality is they are fearful and terrified, humiliated and left with a weak plan, shaken and defeated, despite their uninhibited movement throughout the lands. Their television and satellite channels as well as their sorcerers are in a state of alert day and night.

They dispute by using sorcery, falsifying events, altering realities, and duping people. They deceive, incite, mobilize, and amass against the people of truth. They display the people of falsehood in every guise of strength, ability, force, and fierceness, in desperate and failed attempts to invalidate the truth, scare its followers, and defeat them. This is the case in every age and time.

What a great thing you have achieved by Allah! Who are you? Who are you O soldiers of the Islamic State? From where have you come? What is your secret? Why is it that the hearts of the East and West are dislocated by their fear of you? Why is it that the chest muscles of America and its allies shiver out of fear of you? Where are your warplanes? Where are your battleships? Where are your missiles? Where are your weapons of mass destruction? Why is it that the world has united against you? Why have the nations of disbelief entrenched together against you? What threat do you pose to the distant place of Australia for it to send its legions towards you? What does Canada have anything to do with you?

O America, O allies of America, and O crusaders, know that the matter is more dangerous than you have imagined and greater than you have envisioned. We have warned you that today we are in a new era, an era where the State, its soldiers, and its sons are leaders not slaves. They are a people who through the ages have not known defeat. The outcome of their battles is concluded before they begin. They have not prepared for a battle since the time of Noah except with absolute conviction of victory.

Being killed is a victory. This is where the secret lies. You fight a people who can never be defeated. They either gain victory or are killed.

And O crusaders, you are losers in both outcomes, because you are ignorant of the reality that none of us is killed but to resurrect the dead amongst us. None of us is killed but to leave behind him a story that awakens the Muslims from their slumber by its recount. And then you see the weak one of us he who has no experience in fighting and thinks he cannot contribute anything practical on the ground, having no goal except to be killed, so that he can illuminate the path with his blood and thereby enliven the hearts with his story, generation after generation.

He makes his body and remains a bridge for those who awaken after him to pass over. This person has realized that the life of his nation is through blood and the honor of his nation is through blood. So he went on with a bare chest and bare head towards death eagerly searching for life and honor. If he survives, he lives as a victor with freedom, might, honor, and authority. And if he is killed, he illuminates the path for those after him and goes on to his Lord as a joyful martyr.

He has taught those after him that might, honor, and life are through jihad and being killed, and that humiliation, disgrace, and death are through submission and subservience.

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