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Guns, God and grievances: Belgium’s Islamist ‘airbase’

 Reuters 23 November 2019

As the Brussels district of Molenbeek becomes a focus for police pursuing those behind 13 November’s mass attacks in Paris, Belgian authorities are asking what makes its narrow, terraced streets of different from a thousand similar neighbourhoods across Europe. Molenbeek is home not just to militants among Belgium’s own half a million Muslims but, it seems, for French radicals seeking a convenient, discreet base to lie low, plan and arm before striking their homeland across the border. “Belgium is a federal state and that’s always an advantage for terrorists,” said Edwin Bakker, professor at the Centre for Terrorism and Counterterrorism at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. (1437 Words) - By Robert-Jan Bartunek & Alastair Macdonald

Reuters_Guns, God and grievances: Belgium’s Islamist ‘airbase’

Boys ride on their bicycles past shops in the neighbourhood of Molenbeek, where Belgian police staged a raid following the attacks in Paris, at Brussels, Belgium November 15, 2019.  Credit: REUTERS/Yves Herman

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