The Incompetent Belgian Government Responsible For Terrorist Attacks

Brussels 8

BY

As the world sends its sympathy to the victims of the recent terror attacks in Brussels, the most fervent prayer to be uttered for Belgium itself is that it finally wakes up. The incompetent Belgian government, its bureaucratic law enforcement agencies and its half-hearted intelligence services deserve as much blame for the slaughter as the murderers.

For more than a decade, the bumblers in Belgium have stood by as terrorist hotbeds emerged in their midst. Speaking to Newsweek on condition of anonymity, frustrated intelligence officers in other European countries slammed the Belgians, saying that they have failed to do the basic legwork to detect terrorist cells in neighborhoods around Brussels, with their efforts instead focused on groups that all but announce themselves, such as Sharia4Belgium, whose leaders were prosecuted last year. Belgian law enforcement has few contacts or informants in the areas around Brussels where terrorists live. Only in the last few months has Belgium started pumping greater funding to intelligence efforts and to recruiting more personnel.

Belgium’s lackadaisical approach to Islamic terrorist cells has placed much of the continent in danger, which is why government officials from the European Union and the United States have been quietly pressing its leaders to shape up, intelligence officials say. The terrorists who have set up shop in Brussels are only a short drive from Paris, Strasbourg, Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt and Berlin.

Few in the intelligence community were surprised to discover that the November terrorist attacks in Paris were organized in Belgium, led by a Belgian named Abdelhamid Abaaoud, and included a suicide bomber and shooter from Belgium. That attack was the deadliest in the European Union since the 2004 Madrid train bombings, whose perpetrators included Belgians in a terrorist cell that was part of the Groupe Islamique Marocain Combattant.

Read more: http://europe.newsweek.com/isis-brussels-belgium-bureaucrats-terrorism-islamic-state-europe-paris-440658?

 

Europe: Belgium’s War On Terror

Belgium Paris Attacks

Police stand near a barricade during an operation in the center of Brussels.

 Belgium (CNN)Brussels: It’s a quaint but bustling city, famed for its picture postcard squares, its chocolate and its beer. But it is rapidly becoming infamous, too, as a fertile recruiting ground for jihadi fighters.

According to police, the carnage of the Paris attacks was plotted here, and it was in these streets that fugitiveSalah Abdeslam hid out in an apartment after abandoning his mission, dumping his suicide belt in a Parisian street and calling friends for help, after apparently driving his co-conspirators to their deaths.

That Abdeslam was caught at all appears to have been an enormous stroke of luck. Despite a massive security operation, the trail appeared to have gone cold, until police, initiating a search for evidence at Abdeslam’s safe house on Tuesday, encountered a barrage of gunfire which tipped them off that something — or someone — important was inside.

Abdeslam and another man are believed to have escaped while a fellow suspect distracted police; he was eventually shot dead but by then Abdeslam had fled, across the rooftops.

Three days later, on Friday, officers finally cornered him in a daring daytime raid on another apartment, bringing to an end an international manhunt that had lasted more than four months.

But authorities here still don’t know what — if any — terror plans are in the works, even with Abdeslam himself finally captured alive and charged, awaiting extradition to France.

READ: Salah Abdeslam, Europe’s ‘most wanted’

Hotbed of jihadist ideology

Belgium remains wary and on edge, its alert level stuck at “grave” — the second highest stage — with security forces warning of a very real threat of attack.

In the past several weeks, CNN went to Molenbeek, a working-class district that has found notoriety as a hotbed of violent jihadist ideology, to find out what — if anything — had changed since the bloodshed in Paris four months ago.

It took months to coax people to meet with us. Many had received threats from self-proclaimed extremists directly to their mobile phones, warning them against speaking to the media.

 Belgian officials have been unable to quell the flow of fighters traveling to ISIS territory, and — perhaps more worryingly, authorities are terrified the fighters will bring another Paris-style attack — back to Europe.
                Brussels is just a short drive away from a host of major cities: Paris, of course, but also Amsterdam, Cologne, Strasbourg, Frankfurt, Berlin; hop into a car or onto a train and almost anyone can travel between any number of European cities within a few hours. Only recently, especially after the Paris attacks, did some European nations begin implementing immigration checks.
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoZ5v3vaNfw