Belgium, March 22: Belgium has been on very high alert since the Paris attacks on November 2015. There are various aspects that one may want to look into in the wake of these series of attacks at the Brussels airport which has left at least 13 dead.
Belgium has been considered a safe spot in the past for Jihadis and the government has been often accused of being too soft on this issue. The blasts at Brussels also comes four days after the arrest of Salah Abdeslam.
The main suspect in the Paris attacks was arrested in Brussels four days back. During his questioning he had told investigators that he had planned on blowing up a sports stadium along with another ISIS operative, but changed his mind.
Brussel's brush with Jihad:
The Paris attacks were launched from Belgium and in its aftermath various questions had been asked about the preparedness or seriousness of the country in handling this issue of terrorism. The experts say that Belgium has been too lienient on the issue of terrorism and has turned into a hot spot for Jihadi related activities.
Experts also add that over the years due to the soft peddling on the issue of terrorism, Belgium had gone on to become a safe spot for jihad related activities.
Terror in Belgium is not something new and the country has turned out to be a safe spot for various terror outfits. Prior to the 9/11 attacks Ahmed Massoud an opponent of the Taliban was shot dead in Afghanistan by two men holding Belgian passports.
Further proof of the al-Qaeda's network in Belgium was found when the cops discovered a manual of the outfit in the country a first in Europe.
The spread of Wahabism:
Belgium has ignored several warnings regarding the spread of Wahabi culture. There is a major Wahabi influence in Belgium.
Reports suggest that the religious leaders are not locals. Almost 80 per cent of them have been brought in from other countries and during this exercise came the Wahabi preachers too.
These Wahabi preachers were sponsored by Saudi Arabia through the Grand Mosque in Brussels. This has led to a major radicalization exercise in the country thus making it a hot spot for terrorism related activities. This radicalization exercise has resulted in 250 Belgians joining the ISIS in Syria and also Iraq.
Belgium has also recorded the highest rate of foreign fighters per capita of all Europe. In addition to this there are around a 1,000 who are on the radar of the intelligence agencies and alerts are shared regularly on the high rate of radicalization of the youth
Belgium has a Muslim community made out of disparate groups which never have a consensus and this makes it difficult for the government to work effectively with community leaders.
It is this fragmentation of the Muslim community which has made the problem so immense. Belgium has a complex structure of government, which makes exchanging of information between police and intelligence services difficult.