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15 November 2015

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S Wood

What is it with Brussels and Islamic terrorists? Why can't the authorities in Belgium take care of this den of terrorists? I would appreciate any light that could be shed on these questions.

LondonBob

Was it IS or was it Al Qaeda, has this been confirmed yet? I see some saying it bears the hallmarks of AQ and IS's claim of responsibility seems sketchy. AQ is well represented amongst the domestic French/Belgian Muslim population and certainly has form. I seem to remember Hebdo was initially erroneously pinned on IS.

Tigershark

Patrick, I presume Belgium for planning and logistics because the government there has either not the resources or has chosen not to spend the resources that the French do on anti-terrorism efforts?

Easier to slip "under the radar"

But once again, with rental cars, smuggled and purchase AK's and ammo, and explosive belts and explosives, there has to be a money trail. Follow the money and eliminate the bankers.

Patrick Bahzad

Small country at the crossroads to a number of European countries (UK, France, Germany, Netherlands). Easy to enter and to exit.
Weak State, dysfunctional police forces for most of the 1990s, strong immigrant community from the Maghreb. Very "light" anti-terrorism legislation, easy access to illegal arms market. Presence of Balkans organised crime. Shall I keep going ?

Patrick Bahzad

Yes, AQAP was behind Charlie Hebdo, but ISIS affiliate Amedy Coulibaly was the killer in the kosher supermarket. Call it a hybrid terror cell if you will.


Patrick Bahzad

Yep, you're right about Belgium.

As far as money is concerned, you would be surprized how little money is needed to stage all this. Besides, these guys can use informal ways of money transfer that cannot be traced or tracked because there is no paperwork and no digital footprint of such transactions.

FB Ali

IS or AQ? someone asked.

I would suggest there is not that much difference between them. While their leaderships differ, and tend to jealously guard their preserve (as leaders do everywhere), there is not much difference between their members. They both follow the same ideology, and it is easy for a member of one to switch to the other, or join up with its members. Especially if the local 'chapter' of one is planning something big.

For purposes of categorisation, it is a question of which organization the leader or planner belonged to.

mike

Could this guy detained in Germany be #8? Maybe not, and too early to tell. But if not, then what was he up to?

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2015/1114/Germany-snags-possible-suspect-in-Paris-attacks

Patrick Bahzad

No he is not 8th man. Number 8 is the guy who drove back to Brussels after the attacks. His name is Abdelslam Salah.

The guy in Germany is from Montenegro. probably just an arms smuggler linked to organised crime.

Haralambos

This Is just up on the BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34826117

Jack

Patrick

I don't know much about French politics. What is your opinion of how these attacks impact domestic politics in France and the implications of that on French policy with respect to Syria, Turkey and Saudi Arabia?

Kunuri

The main highway into EU is through Turkey, in or out. In reality, no one posts a tweet, or lights up a cigarette without Turkish police knowing about it. Now, lets talk about complicity, duplicity and crimes of omission. I hope no one is believing all that talk coming from G20 summit in Antalya, this whole mess has tantacles going back 5 years. One needs to digest the refugee crises, Paris massacre and all that has been going on down there and here in Turkey, not by what is said, but what is done, or not done. RTE ini coaltion to stop ISIS, lol. I am so bewildered why enablers of the mess down there, Sauidies, Qataries and of course the Tayyiban do not get the spotlight, people are wondering why and how. And they are down there, still hungry to be hoodwinked and misled and lied to for the glorification of the supreme leader, I cant take it anymore.

charly

An AK is something like 1k on the black market according to the local media. Car rental is 100. Explosive belts are home made and i have no idea about the price of explosives. 1k is about one months wage if you have a really shitty job so self-financed should be expected

Babak Makkinejad

In time, terrorists could print "single-use" disposable weapons.

walrus

Turkey seems to be the key to destroying ISIS. Could the caliphate survive without a porous border with Turkey and financing from Saudi Arabia? I think not.

Can ISIS be destroyed without supporting the Assad Government? I think not.

Can ISIS/AQ attacks in the West be stopped while maintaining the Liberal/R2P/Academic fiction of the existence of "Universal humanitarian values? I think not.

Can Western style democracy be implanted in societies where it is an alien concept? I think not.

I think I now might now know how all this ends if the idiots in Western capitals, and Israel, are not removed from power. It ends for the West in the detonation of an ISIS controlled nuclear weapon in a Western capital city, followed by the threat by ISIS of more of the same.

If Erdogan does not stop accommodating Jihadis, then he must be replaced with a military dictatorship. If the Saudis continue their funding, they need to interdicted.

We need to support the Assad regime if only to ensure that captured Jihadis of any description down to perhaps the age of Twelve, are quickly liquidated since "de radicalisation" is a myth.

We have to end the fiction that we are against "radical extremism" instead of radical Islam, reinstate border controls. Halt the flow of refugees everywhere. Control the issuance of passports and visas based on reversing the onus of proof of need and do more of the same.

ISIS and its supporters want battle. Give it to them.

S Wood

Thank you for the reply. I also found this on the Belgium connection:
http://news.yahoo.com/belgium-connection-under-spotlight-paris-attacks-201144343.html

Botton line: Like you said, the Belgians have more or less dropped the ball on the terrorists in their midst.

xxtommix

The Paris atrocities took place nearly immediately before the G20 summit in Anatlya, Turkey, which has been in the works for some time one would presume. Have seen no discussion of this quirky time sequence.

user1234

Belgium - tolerant society, easy immigration. But it's really not that important. Locking the EU up and controlling the flow of people is not a realistic option. If someone is determined to commit random violence, there is little you can do to stop them. Look at how many random shootings we have in the US. Life goes on.

Amir

Don't forget the state structure: Belgium is federalized. There was a Federal government, a Flemish Community Government (based on linguistic bonds) and a Flemish Regional Government (based on geographic character) but the Flemish decided to combine the Regional and Community government into one entity. However, there're similar institutions for the French speaking Walloon, German speaking East Cantons. On top of that, Brussels has it's own Regional and Community government. All these "governments" have their own ministers and staff and as you can imagine, coordination is not the main goal. An academician had calculated that if the Chinese government wanted to copy the Belgian model, they needed 250.000 cabinet ministers. This inefficiency is part though not the main explanation why the Jihadist have a good hiding ground in Belgium. This is again not the main reason but the easiest to be dealt with by creating an overarching command for anti-terrorism operations. This whole model also explains whey EVERYONE is finding a good hiding ground in Belgium and international diamond as well as gun and drug and banking is finding nice gray zones in Belgium and connected to it Benelux (Luxembourg).

Amir

I had heard that a granade costed 50 Euro and a Cheap AK 350 Euro, at the beginning of the millennium. If you are a single unemployed, the government will pay 525 Euros a month for your maintenance.

Amir

Exactly. This highway is the same that the drug smugglers use. The European extreme-right is evil without any doubt and you don't need to look to WWII to realize it, just look into Ukraine and Yugoslavia area. But the left is asleep and I have a lot of really NICE friends amongst them.

Amir

I agree. Let's not pick of the easy target. Belgium is not the problem. Holland with his duplicitous support for anti-Asad coalition is a way bigger problem for himself that Belgium ever was. If the terrorists don't come through Belgium, they will come from Marseille.

 Ishmael Zechariah

Kunuri,

1-Given what is happening in the G20 summit, the (conspiracy) theory about the creation of a pretext to get the west involved in Syria is starting to look reasonably credible. I cannot believe what I am reading/seeing either.
2-A long time ago a proven murderer, Fehriye Erdal, was given sanctuary in Belgium. The issue is still not resolved. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fehriye_Erdal . The complicity of this bitch was captured by video cameras. Something is rotten in Belgium...

Ishmael Zechariah

confusedponderer

Amir,
"If the terrorists don't come through Belgium, they will come from Marseille."

Doesn't mean Belgium is not a dangerous entry point worth adressing.

I also think you wrongly ascribe ISIS hostility to Hollande's 'duplicitous support for the anti-Asad coalition'. They have a problem with France with or without Hollande.

Take this: About ten days ago, France sent the Charles de Gaule to join the anti-ISIS fight.

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/naval/ships/2015/11/05/france-deploy-aircraft-carrier-anti-fight-syria-iraq/75229194/

Given that the planning for the attack must have taken several weeks at least, there is no causality here. The plot must predate the deployment.

That is, they would have attacked France without Hollande increasing France's involvement in targeting ISIS.

So, why France as the target? Actually, I would have expected something directed at Russia instead. Because perhaps they had connections, people and the infrastructure at the ready in Belgium and needed to do something quick to demonstrate their strength in face of their setbacks of late in Iraq, and France was logistally doable?

confusedponderer

... 'directed at Russia' - of course there apparently was the airliner bombing. I meant 'in Russia'.

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