Robert-Jan Bartunek, Reuters
Belgian prosecutors accused 46 members of Islamist group Sharia4Belgium on Monday of belonging to a terrorist organization and brainwashing young men in Belgium into fighting a holy war in Syria.
Only eight of those charged were present in the heavily secured court room in the northern Belgian port city of Antwerp on Monday. The others were still said to be in Syria.
Belgium's biggest case against Islamist extremism highlights its status as a fertile recruiting ground for militants. About 300 fighters in Syria have come from Belgium, the highest per capita level among western European countries, according to the International Center for the Study of Radicalisation.