One year after the tragic terror attacks in Brussels, Belgium, the city’s mayor asserts that it is not the capital of jihadism.
In an interview published Wednesday in the newspaper De Morgen regarding the aftermath of the attacks at Zaventem Airport and Maalbeek metro station, Brussels’ Mayor Yvan Mayeur admitted that the Belgian capital has a problem with Islamic extremism.
“Everyone knows that all mosques in Brussels are in the hands of Salafists,” Mayeur said, referring to the radical form of Islam. “We need to change this, we need new mosques that follow our democratic rules and that are being controlled by the government.”
Even so, Mayeur denounced claims that Brussels is the capital of jihad, a reputation that developed after authorities revealed that many of the terror suspects responsible for attacks in Paris and Brussels resided in or operated from the city.
“Jihadism in Belgium started in Antwerp, then spread to Vilvoorde, Molenbeek, and Brussels-north,” Mayeur said.
“Terrorism is a problem that involves Europe, as a whole,” he added. “Don’t forget what happened in Paris, Nice, and Berlin. If this was only a Brussels problem, it would have been solved.”
Mayeur warned people to fear not only radicalized youth but extremism, in general. “We live in a world in which radicalism is growing,” he said. “People such as Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, and Vladimir Putin are extremists, too.”
Following Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon’s pledge to “clean up” the Molenbeek district of Brussels, a confidential report into anti-terror measures revealed earlier this week that police in Molenbeek have uncovered 51 organizations with suspected ties to terrorism.
Mayeur noted that Brussels faces a shortage of police officers to deal with the challenges of providing extra security measures for the European Union capital, demonstrations, and security of events and buildings.
H/T: Politico EU
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