Donald Trump turned a few liberals heads over at the New York Times last January when he attacked Belgium for being soft on Islamic terrorism, describing the capitol of Brussels as a “hellhole.” During the same time Trump made these comments, Brussels was running an ad campaign which ridiculed the notion that their city had become a haven for Islamic terrorists.
And we all know what happened in just a few short months after those comments received mockery at the New York Times.
It wasn’t just a coincidence that there was a terrorist attack shortly after the city (and country entirely) had garnered a reputation as a safe haven for terrorists. The statistics are out, and they don’t bode well for Belgium.
Belgium has the highest number of people per capita in the European Union (EU) who have travelled to Iraq and Syria to join terror groups such as Islamic State.
The small European nation has produced between 420 and 516 foreign fighters, of whom 55 to 130 have returned home, according to a report by the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism.
Numbers are also increasing, with the number of foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq doubling between September 2014 and September 2015.
Last week, it was revealed that up to 50 supporters of Islamic State were working at Brussels Airport as baggage handlers, catering staff and cleaners, and that some may still have access to cockpits despite concerns being raised.
Belgium is now ramping up anti-terrorism efforts with great success – which makes you wonder how many carnage could’ve been prevented had they only took the threat seriously before.
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