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Why are these Europeans waging jihad in Syria?

BRUSSELS, Belgium — A man looks deep into the camera and pleads, in Arabic: “You, there in Europe, watching this video. I’m calling you.”

With urgency in his voice, he refers to children being murdered and women being raped at the hands of the enemy.

“We really need you here. This is your opportunity for paradise.”

“Paradise” via the distinct possibility of death on a Syrian battlefield, he means.

The man is calling for recruits to join the Al Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda affiliate that makes up part of Syria’s fragmented armed opposition fighting the government forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

As unappealing as that “opportunity” may sound to the average European, the message has resonated with hundreds of youths here who have disappeared from their schools and homes and turned up in Syria.

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