Belgian Breeding Ground Fuels New Terror Wave

belgiumby Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
November 23, 2015

Time was, thoughts of Belgium led to thoughts of rich, dark chocolate, of Old Master painters and delicate, handmade lace.

Now it brings a different image: of Islamic jihad and men armed with Kalashnikovs, and of secret meetings of Muslim youth plotting a new attack against the West. The country is in lockdown today, facing what authorities believe is an “imminent attack.” On Sunday, police raided 19 homes in and around Brussels, and made 16 arrests. Brussels continues to be the focus of their action.

There is good reason for this. The Nov. 13 massacres in Paris, we’ve since learned, were planned in the Brussels district of Molenbeek, sometimes called “little Morocco” for its large Moroccan immigrant population. The attack on Charlie Hebdo also was planned there, along with the foiled attack on a Thalys high-speed train between Brussels and Amsterdam. Mehdi Nemmouche, who killed four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum in May 2014, spent time there.

But it isn’t only Molenbeek, and it isn’t only recently. Belgium has been a hotbed of radical Islam for more than a decade, breeding organizations like Sharia4Belgium – one of the most influential “Sharia4” groups globally – and the now-defunct Arab European League (AEL). The goal of the AEL, founded by the Lebanese-Belgian Dyab Abou Jahjah in 2001, was to form a “sharocracy” in which sharia and democracy ruled together across the West. The organization was based in Antwerp, where Jahjah and his friends also celebrated the attacks of 9/11 with laughter. “We couldn’t hold our joy,” he recalled later in his autobiography.

Other signs of radicalism, also connected to Jahjah, soon followed; in 2002, Jahjah helped orchestrate riots in Borgenhout, outside of Antwerp. And in 2004, after establishing a Dutch arm of the AEL, he declared, “I consider every death of an American, British, and Dutch soldier a victory.”

Jahjah was hardly alone. By 2006, Belgian journalist Hind Fraihi, herself a Muslim, discovered that books teaching Muslims to fight infidels were being freely distributed by radical imams who preached jihad in local mosques. Other books she found in Belgium included Guide For Muslims, a Dutch publication that encourages Muslims to throw homosexuals from tall buildings and to beat their wives. A Washington Post profile of Fraihi cited other books she found, including some that “advised readers to learn to communicate in symbols and secret code, and offered tips on how to do that.”

But the largest influence on Belgian Muslims, and the source of much of their extremism, was the creation of Sharia4Belgium in 2010. Thanks to that group, Belgium boasts the largest number of Muslims per capita who have joined the Islamic State and its jihad. According to the Wall Street Journal and others, “dozens” of Sharia4Belgium members have made the pilgrimage to Syria, and dozens more have been detained before they could make the trip. Three of them, all women, were arrested in May 2014, around the time of the Jewish Museum shooting. They were part of a larger group of 40 Belgians planning to join the jihad, and most of them had Sharia4Belgium ties.

This should not have been surprising. By 2012, Belgium’s security service director Alain Winants determined that “radical Islam forms the greatest threat” to the country. Salafism, he told Belgian daily de Morgen, is gaining followers who have built up a parallel community with its own values, its own banks, justice system, and educational program.

Sharia4Belgium’s founder, Fouad Belkacem, was tried and convicted in September 2014 for supporting terrorism, along with dozens of other Sharia4Belgium members, some of whom are still on the Syrian battlefields. But by then it was too late. The group, with its active Dutch- and French-speaking recruiters in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and – most of all – the Internet, had already infiltrated the minds of untold numbers of other Belgian youth.

And still, no one seems to be watching.

This is due in part to limits of Belgium’s intelligence facilities. While German intelligence, for instance, is currently stretched to its limits trying to track potential terrorists, Der Spiegel reports that Belgium’s threat has long since exceeded the its own intelligence capabilities.

Indeed, according to Dutch NOS TV, “the central counterterrorism unit of the [Belgian] police department has only one employee tracking radical [Islamic] activity on the Internet. And she only works part time.” The result, notes Der Spiegel, is that “many Muslims who have become radicalized or received military training and may even have been traumatized are returning home from Syria without anyone checking on them whatsoever.”

Moreover, Belgium’s disorganized police system – with six authorities for 19 districts in Brussels alone – coupled with a chaotic government and the European capital’s convenient location at the midway point between Amsterdam and Paris –combine to help French and Dutch Islamists take refuge there. Two of the Paris attackers, the French-born Bilal Hafdi and Brahim Abdelslam, were among them.

As recently as last month, an exploratory committee determined that Belgian police had failed to notice, let alone monitor, a “jihad camp” set up by Kurdish PKK members and Sharia4Belgium in the Ardennes.

But the truth is, the country’s “capabilities” are only part of the problem: political timidity and correctness carry a good share of the blame. Suspicious behaviors are too often overlooked for fear of being called “racist,” Alain Winants told de Morgen in 2012. That viewpoint has since been echoed in Belgian editorials since the Paris attacks, with journalist Luckas Vander Taelen noting that Molenbeek’s mayor had once called a journalist “Islamophobic” for reporting on the radical Islamic books being distributed there. “There are no problems here,” the mayor insisted at the time.

Since the Nov. 13 attacks, however, Belgium has rounded up dozens of jihadists, with nine raids leading to nine arrests on Thursday preceding Sunday’s additional raids. The speed with which these terrorists were located suggests that authorities were aware of them prior to the events in Paris. So why weren’t they captured earlier? Was it a matter of incompetence? Or a kind of narcissistic concern over image, a fear, as Winants suggests, of being seen as “racist?”

Hopefully, Belgium has now learned its lesson. The fight against terrorism is not a popularity contest. It’s a contest we fight for our lives.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.

Brussels, seat of NATO headquarters, held hostage by the Islamic State

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said the decision to keep Brussels on lockdown was based on 'quite precise information about the risk of an attack like the one that happened in Paris' Read more:

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said the decision to keep Brussels on lockdown was based on ‘quite precise information about the risk of an attack like the one that happened in Paris’
Read more:

Center for Security Policy, by John Cordero, Nov. 23, 2015:

After uncovering the Islamic State cell that planned and executed the Paris attacks, Belgian authorities have increased the manhunt for Salah Abdeslam, who is suspected of being one of the gunmen in Paris and whose brother blew himself up in a suicide operation there.  Brussels, the location of NATO and EU headquarters, is now a city under military lockdown.  Subways and schools remained closed on Monday, as the threat of a “Paris-style attack” keeps residents and police on edge.

Hiding in plain sight within the large Muslim community centered in the Molenbeek neighborhood, the IS cell that executed the Paris atrocity may have prepared for another wave targeting Brussels,  according to Belgian authorities.

In response, they have urged the closing of popular bars and clubs, while hotels locked their doors, as a large number of travelers cancelled their stays.

The military personnel and armored personnel carriers now patrolling the streets evoke images of a city under occupation, and although 16 arrests have been made in connection with the attacks, Abdeslam and his accomplices remain at large.

As previously noted, IS has increased its operational capabilities beyond the borders of its self-declared caliphate and affiliated “provinces.”  Whereas, historically terrorist organizations executed operations in order to draw media attention for the announcement of clear political objectives, IS transcends traditional western concepts of terrorism. Instead, it is a global jihadist organization, seeking to goad Western powers into an apocalyptic conflict.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, organizations such as Hezbollah held hostages for years and carried out operations at the behest of Iran, a clear case of state-sponsored terrorism.  Nowadays, a self-declared religious state, with no international recognition and a self-sufficient financial structure, is able to hold entire cities hostage; cities that serve as headquarters for international military and political bodies are now at the mercy of jihadists who reject the Western concept of the nation-state.

In a propaganda masterstroke, the Islamic State has succeeded in achieving one of its key goals: “striking fear in the heart of the enemy.”

Key suspect in Paris attacks has been featured in Islamic State propaganda

Aboud’s Dabiq interview Source: Dabiq Magazine

Aboud’s Dabiq interview
Source: Dabiq Magazine

Long War Journal, by Bill Roggio and Thomas Joscelyn, Nov. 16, 2015:

European officials have identified Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian man whose parents are from Morocco, as a key suspect in last week’s coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris. Abaaoud has been featured by the Islamic State in its propaganda for plotting terrorist attacks in Europe in the past.

French authorities say Abaaoud is “the presumed mastermind” of the coordinated assault, according to the Associated Press. And he is also thought to have been involved in earlier plots targeting France, the AP reports, including an attack on a Paris-bound train in August and another on a church in the suburbs of Paris.

Abaaoud has not kept a low profile despite his suspected involvement in plots against the West. The Islamic State interviewed Abaaoud in Dabiq 7, the seventh issue of its English-language magazine, which was released in February 2015. The cover of Dabiq 7 mocked Muslims who stood in unity with France over al Qaeda’s attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

Dabiq described Abaaoud as “a mujahid being pursued by Western Intelligence agencies for his jihad in Belgium.” Two members of Abaaoud’s cell were killed in a shootout with Belgian police during a raid on their safe house in Verviers on Jan. 15, just one week after the massacre at Charlie Hebdo’s offices.

In the Dabiq 7 interview, Abaaoud admitted that he and two accomplices, “Abuz-Zubayr al-Baljīkī (Khālid), and Abū Khālid al-Baljīkī (Sufyān),” (pictured, right) traveled to Europe “in order to terrorize the crusaders waging war against the Muslims.” He said Belgium was a target as the country “is a member of the crusader coalition attacking the Muslims of Iraq and Shām [Syria].”

After some difficulties in traveling to Belgium, the three jihadists “were then able to obtain weapons and set up a safe house while we planned to carry out operations against the crusaders,” he claimed.

Abaaoud mocked Western intelligence services for failing to prevent him from entering Belgium and establish a cell, and then later failing to capture him after the Verviers raid.

“Allah blinded their vision and I was able to leave and come to Shām despite being chased after by so many intelligence agencies,” he stated. “All this proves that a Muslim should not fear the bloated image of the crusader intelligence. My name and picture were all over the news yet I was able to stay in their homeland, plan operations against them, and leave safely when doing so became necessary.”

Abaaoud said he was stopped by security officials after the Verviers raid and police failed to match him with a photograph of him that was obtained while he was in Syria.

“I was even stopped by an officer who contemplated me so as to compare me to the picture, but he let me go, as he did not see the resemblance,” he said.

Islamic State has plotted attacks in Europe prior to Paris suicide assault

Abaaoud’s involvement with the Verviers cell and an attack by an Islamic State fighter at a Jewish museum in Belgium in May 2014 belie the common narrative that the Islamic State’s deadly suicide assault in Paris, which left more than 120 people dead, was a radical departure in strategy. Some analysts have claimed that up until last weekend’s attack in Paris, the Islamic State was only focused on taking control of territory in Muslim countries.

After the raid on Abaaoud’s cell in Verviers, Belgian federal magistrate Eric Van der Sypt said the group was “on the verge of committing important terror attacks,” the AP reported. “It shows we have to be extremely careful.”

Over the past year, European intelligence officials have explained that several Islamic State plots were thwarted. In September 2015, Prime Minister David Cameron said that Reyaad Khan and Junaid Hussain, two British nationals who were killed in airstrikes in Syria in August, were plotting attacks against the West.

According to Cameron, Khan and Hussain “were British nationals based in Syria who were involved in actively recruiting [Islamic State] sympathizers and seeking to orchestrate specific and barbaric attacks against the West, including directing a number of planned terrorist attacks right here in Britain, such as plots to attack high profile public commemorations, including those taking place this summer.”

“We should be under no illusion,” Cameron continued. “Their intention was the murder of British citizens.”

An Islamic State fighter succeeded in executing an attack in Belgium in May 2014. Mehdi Nemmouche, a fighter who worked in the Islamic State’s jails in Syria, opened fire at a Jewish museum in Brussels, Belgium and killed four people.

The top leaders of the Islamic State have issued direct threats against the West, including the US. In his very first recorded speech, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State, threatened America.

“As for your security, your citizens cannot travel to any country without being afraid. The mujahideen have launched after your armies, and have swore to make you taste something harder than what Osama [bin Laden] had made you taste. You will see them in your home, Allah permitting. Our war with you has only begun, so wait,” he said.

Abu Muhammad al Adnani, the spokesman for the Islamic State, threatened to strike the US and the “allies of America” in September 2014, after the US launched its air campaign in Iraq and Syria.

“[T]his campaign will be your final campaign,” Adnani said. “It will be broken and defeated, just as all your previous campaigns were broken and defeated, except that this time we will raid you thereafter, and you will never raid us. We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted.”

Abaaoud, holding a koran and the Islamic State’s Flag while standing in front of a US-made Humvee, from Dabiq 7:


Also see:

ISIS External OPs and Paris Attack UPDATE as of 16 NOV 15

The ISIS Study Group, Nov. 16, 2015:

By now the people of the world should’ve heard from the MSM about the mastermind of the Paris Attack being identified as Abdelhamid Aboud (variant-Abaaoud) aka “Abu Omar al-Belgeki.” We discussed this guy and his role in the Paris attack planning in our 14 NOV piece “Paris Attack Update as of 14 NOV 15.” If you’re new here or somehow missed our first update, Aboud played a big role in coordinating the movement of the 20-man foreign fighter group that was redeployed to Europe to specifically target France and the UK (which was discussed in last month’s “Nail in the Coffin: ISIS’ Anwar al-Awlaqi BN Sends Fighters to Europe“). In an interview with Dabiq Magazine, he claimed to have made several attempts to enter Europe and had finally managed to get into Belgium where he and some associates managed to establish a support network. The main support cell in Belgium was rounded up by the local police, prompting him to flee to Syria. As stated two days ago, Aboud is important because he functioned in a capacity similar to that of the late-Junaid Hussein in regards to operations in France and Belgium. More importantly, he was the right-hand of Islamic State (IS) spokesman and External Operations Portfolio chief Abu Muhammad al-Adnani. Word on the street is that Aboud may have been killed in an airstrike last month, although we’re working with our Parastin and YPG sources to ascertain the truth. Anyways, if you want to know more about this guy check out “Paris Attack Update as of 14 NOV 15.”

Mastermind of Paris Attacks Identified Amid a Night of Raids in France

Paris Attack Update as of 14 NOV 15

Nail in the Coffin: ISIS’ Anwar al-Awlaqi BN Sends Fighters to Europe

Abdelhamid Aboud Source: The ISIS Study Group

Abdelhamid Aboud
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Aboud’s Dabiq interview Source: Dabiq Magazine

Aboud’s Dabiq interview
Source: Dabiq Magazine

In our 14 NOV article we also identified one of the attackers – one of the Stade de France bombers – as Syrian national Ahmed Almuhammad. The MSM again confirmed what we said the next day. Additional reporting shows that this individual had entered Europe through Turkey and Greece posing as a “refugee” – in fact there’s three individuals total that have been confirmed as having started out in Syria. Again, this is consistent with what we said last month. The individual who had the Egyptian passport was later identified as being one of the victims. Not long after the Paris attack one of the attackers – Salah Abdesalam – was stopped in Molenbeek, Brussels. Then they released him. What the media may not be tracking is that two of his associates were also stopped and released. Our sources confirm their identities as Hamza Attou and Muhammad Amri. Its worth noting that Attou was stopped with Abdesalam (any journalist reading this can look up license plate 1 LJV 913 if they don’t believe us). The vehicle found in Paris with the weapons belonged to Attou, Amri and Abdesalam. Its also worth noting that Abdesalam was also listed as the guy who rented the vehicle that was found IVO the Bataclan Concert Hall. A raid was attempted to detain Abdesalam earlier today, but it failed. He’s likely moving between the safe-houses that Aboud’s support network had established months ago. The other attackers are as follows:

Muhammad Abdesalam – One of Salah Abdesalam’s brothers (arrested in Belgium)
Brahim Abdesalam – Another brother of Salah Abdesalam
Omar Ismail Mostefai – French national and member of the pre-existing support network who was killed at Bataclan
Bilal Hadfi – Killed at Stade de France
Four other yet to be identified attackers were killed while engaging the French National Police

The number puts them pretty close to that 10-man group we discussed last month, isn’t it? Keep in mind that these guys were also supposed to augment the existing cells in their respective target country – meaning there were likely as many as 24 jihadists involved in the overall operation (although most were in a support role). Some of our readers have inquired about how AQAP could claim responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo Attack yet have an IS-aligned support cell involved? The two sides working at the cell-level isn’t uncommon, and there have been several documented cases of such collaboration taking place in Yemen – especially when the late-Qurayshi (who was against feuding with IS) was Emir. And remember, the foreign fighter unit that IS has been selecting personnel for redeployment to Europe and North America is named after the late-senior AQAP recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki.

‘Nothing stood out’ about Paris attacker Omar Ismail Mostefai


Paris attacks: Suspect on the run as terror raids end in failure – latest news

Ahmed AlMuhammad’s passport Source: The ISIS Study Group

Ahmed AlMuhammad’s passport
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Salah Abdesalam: Offered up his brother to serve as a suicide bomber – what a guy! Source: French National Police

Salah Abdesalam: Offered up his brother to serve as a suicide bomber – what a guy!
Source: French National Police

Equally as important is the fact that the other half of that 20-man group that arrived from Syria posing as refugees is assessed to be located somewhere in London. Over the weekend we had tweeted out a tipper in regards to an IS threat that was issued against Rome, London and Washington, DC. Earlier today another IS threat was issued, this time directed at Lisbon, Portugal. IS’ External Operations Division will usually disseminate loads of disinformation designed to both distract the West from the true target and overload allied intelligence organizations with a flurry of multiple threat streams, some legit and some fake. Neil Prakash and the late-Junaid Hussein, Riyad Khan and Shawn Parson had perfected this strategy over the course of two years. Although some operations would be discovered and disrupted, others would fall through the cracks due to the large volume of threat reporting. The use of lone-wolves contributed heavily to their success. That said, the transition from relying solely on lone-wolves to attack cells adds to their ability to project IS influence beyond the borders of Syria, Iraq and Libya. Speaking of Libya, we heard there’s three IS fighters who entered Germany from Libya and are currently working to establish a new attack cell. With that and the fact there’s another 10-man element from that specialized 20-man group reported to have been sent to London leads us to suspect that location will be the next target for a major cell-based attack.

Source: The ISIS Study Group

Source: The ISIS Study Group

However, that’s just from the External Operations Division located in Syria. IS has also invested heavily in establishing an official affiliate in Libya to serve as a launching pad for conducting facilitation operations in support of other IS-aligned entities throughout Sudan, Tunisia, Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt. The Libyan IS Emir -Abu Nabil – (who may or may not have been recently killed) is an External Operations Division senior member who was dispatched to Libya to establish and lead the affiliate in the country. One of the other big things he was tasked to do was open up a second pathway from which to conduct attacks against Europe. Still, IS won’t be abandoning the use of lone-wolves. Instead, they’ll likely opt to use a combination of lone-wolves and attack cells to “reach out and touch” the West.

The Erdogan government of Turkey has been doing a lot of damage control in recent weeks and has been trying to capitalize on the situation. Reporting suggests that the Turks had “tried” to warn their French counterparts about Mostefai. The truth is although the Turks did pass along information to DGSE, they only did so because their French counterparts had specifically been inquiring about the Mostefai’s pattern of life going back and forth from Raqqa City, Syria to Gaziantep, Turkey. However, we’ll give the Turks the benefit of the doubt this time because our friends in the YPG and Parastin had reported a similar experience when they tried to warn the French, British and American governments of the 20-man group that was sent from Syria to Europe to hit targets in the UK and France. Specifically, neither the French or American intelligence agencies appeared to have been interested in what our Kurdish friends had to say; it was as if DGSE no longer cared for whatever reason. Our DGSI contact stated he “couldn’t speak for DGSE.” We don’t know about the Brits because they never gave a response to our friends.

Attacks in Paris: Live Updates From France

Then there’s the much-hyped 12 NOV arrest of Jihadi John associate Aine Leslie Davis aka “Abu Ayub,” who the Turks are making out to be “Zarqawi revisited.” The truth is not only is Jihadi John a “small fish,” Davis is straight-up low-hanging fruit. He was never involved in any external attack planning, although he did provide security for Western hostages in Syria and had his wife and female associate serve as facilitators tasked with distributing financial support to terror cells in the UK. As you may have already guessed, the Turks only arrested him because the British government had specifically inquired about him (notice the recurring theme here?). Davis was arrested with two other British nationals – Jermaine Michael Burke and Per Muhammad Burmal Karwani. Also arrested with the three Brits were Hasan al-Sheik, Turkish national Deniz Solak and Syrian national Walid al-Agha (who is confirmed to have trained in Syria). Davis had received permission from his superiors to travel from Syria to Turkey and retrieve his family. The individuals who accompanied him did so because they were tasked with picking up dual-use material for producing explosives. The reason we bring up Davis and friends is because the facilitation network they were supposed to link up with was the same one that pushed out the group that would later go on to execute the Paris attack. Oh, and btw, the Erdogan government is preparing to quietly release Davis, Burke and Karwani from custody due to a “lack of evidence” and are supposedly going to “deport” them back to the UK. What are the odds of them actually being put on a plane for the UK? We think you may already know the answer. Perhaps somebody from MI5 or MI6 reads this and has enough “wasta” to influence things?


British jihadist at the heart of terrorist network terror in Syria and Iraq

From petty criminal and feckless father to jihadist: Briton’s journey from London estate to an Isis fighter – and how it ensnared ‘jihottie’ who smuggled cash in her knickers

Aine Leslie Davis Source: Central News

Aine Leslie Davis
Source: Central News

There’s a great deal of momentum being built towards an expansion of IS’ External Operations Division with more trained groups being deployed to Europe, Canada and the US in response to the success of the Paris attack. The reason for targeting France is simple, really: Team Baghdadi views France as being just as weak (if not weaker) than Spain, who capitulated to al-Qaida after the 2004 Madrid Train Bombing by completely pulling out of the Global War on Terror. Sure, France is currently conducting a bombing campaign in Syria – but all IS has to do is wait them out because they know that the French military can’t sustain a prolonged campaign. Our sources on the ground in Syria also report that the vaunted French air campaign hasn’t been as “effective” as advertised due to a lack of coordination and information-sharing between the French military and the forces fighting on the front-lines – mainly the combined Peshmerga forces (the Arab opposition factions are dominated by “moderates” who aren’t really “moderate”). In fact our YPG sources view the air campaign as more “symbolic” than anything. Its honestly too late for France and the rest of Europe to stem the tide now. Political correctness killed whatever chance they had to preserve their way of life. However, there’s still a chance for the US to reverse course, but that all depends on whether President Obama has the courage to admit that his pseudo-strategy isn’t working. Unfortunately, we suspect that’s asking for too much. And so it goes…

Paris attacks: French jets pound Islamic State in Raqqa as chaos and fear grips France’s capital after false reports of fresh gunfire – latest news

Source: Ben Garrison

Source: Ben Garrison

Other Related Articles:

Night of Terror: Jihadists Launch Coordinated Attacks Across Paris

The Loss of Key ISIS External OPs Figures and the Anwar al-Awlaqi Battalion

Attack in Paris, France Kills 12

Possible Second Lone Wolf Attack in France Since Saturday

Islamic State: The French Connection

The Jews: Europe’s Canary in the Mine on the Growing Jihadist Threat

Cultural Suicide: Why Allowing Syrian War Refugees to Enter Western Countries is a Pandora’s Box to More Attacks

ISIS Attack Plot Thwarted In Belgium- A Sign Of Things To Come?

New research charts Europe’s inexorable slide toward Islam

AP photo

AP photo

Breitbart, by THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D. Jan.16 2015

A recent article by the Pew Research Center highlights five important facts about Europe’s Muslim population in light of the recent Islamist attacks in France and anti-Islamist protest marches in Germany. The data reveals that Europe is becoming more and more Muslim.

Though the greatest sufferers of Islamist violence continue to be the populations of Iraq and Syria under siege by the Islamic State, along with Nigeria facing the virtually unchecked onslaught of Boko Haram, Europe has its own causes for concern. The Muslim population in many European nations has been growing steadily, leading some countries, such as Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands, to call for restrictions on immigration.

Recent Islamist violence in Paris has brought Europe’s concerns to the fore, but it represents only the tip of the iceberg. On Thursday, Belgian counterterrorism police interrupted another jihadist terrorist plot, killing two suspected Islamist militants and severely wounding a third, and additional raids were carried out in the capital, Brussels. Similar anti-terrorist operations are being carried out throughout Europe, and counterterrorism officials are warning that their top security threat is the risk of attacks by their own citizens.

Fact no. 1: Europe’s largest Muslim populations are in Germany and France, followed by the UK and Italy.

According to the most recent available statistics, both Germany and France have Muslim populations around 5 million, which represents about six percent of Germany’s population and 7.5% of France’s. Going beyond the borders of the European Union, Russia’s population of 14 million Muslims is the largest on the continent.

The anti-Islamist PEGIDA movement, which stands for “Patriotic Europeans against Islamization of the West,” rallied a record 25,000 supporters in Dresden on Monday, and there are to be more PEGIDA marches in Cologne. Though Chancellor Angela Merkel has dismissed PEGIDA as a movement followed by those with “hatred in their hearts,” other European countries are following Germany’s lead; PEGIDA chapters have been founded in Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Spain, and the UK.

Fact no. 2: Europe’s total population is becoming increasingly Muslim.

The Muslim share of Europe’s population has grown about 1 percentage point a decade for the last 25 years, moving from 4% in 1990 to 6% in 2010. The number of Muslims in Europe has grown from 29.6 million in 1990 to 44.1 million in 2010.

Europe’s Muslim population is expected to exceed 58 million by 2030. While Muslims today account for about 6% of Europe’s total population, by 2030, Muslims are expected to make up 8% of Europe’s population, or double what it was in 1990.

Percentagewise, the European Union’s most Muslim country is Cyprus, at more than a quarter of the total population (25.3%), followed by Bulgaria at 13.7% of the population. The country with the highest projected growth of its Muslim population is the United Kingdom, expected to have a Muslim population of 5.5 million by 2030.

Fact no. 3: Muslims are younger than other Europeans.

Data for 2010 reveals that the average age of Muslims in Europe was 32, while the median age of Europeans generally was 40, an eight-year gap. The median age of Christians in Europe was ten years higher than that of Muslims, or 42.

The age gap also affects population increase. Muslims’ fertility rates are generally higher than those of non-Muslims in Europe, which along with immigration helps explain why the Muslim population of Europe is projected to rise, both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the population.

The Pew Study analyzed current trends in the 25 European countries for which data are available and found that Muslim women today will have an average of 2.2 children each, compared with an estimated average of 1.5 children each for non-Muslim women in Europe.

Fact no. 4: European countries vary widely in their views of Muslims.

Majorities in Germany, France, and the UK have generally favorable views of Muslims, according to a Pew Research survey conducted last spring. More than half the population in Italy, Greece, and Poland expressed negative views of Muslims, while in Spain opinion was roughly divided.

Among EU countries, the Italian population is the most critical of Muslims, with 63% expressing an unfavorable view and only 28% voicing a favorable opinion.

Views about Muslims are tied both to age and to where one stands on the political spectrum, with youth and those on the left being generally more favorable to Muslims. In Spain, just over half of those age 50 and older view Muslims unfavorably, while only a third of people under age 30 say the same. While 47% of Germans on the political right see Muslims unfavorably, just 20% on the left do so.

Fact no. 5: The European Union is home to some 13 million Muslim immigrants.

As of 2010, an estimated 13 million Muslim immigrants (27% of the foreign-born population) live in the 27 countries of the European Union. When internal migration within the European Union is excluded, the percentage of Muslim immigrants among the foreign-born population rises to 39%.

The immigrant Muslim population in Germany is primarily from Turkey, whereas the roughly 3 million foreign-born Muslims in France are largely from France’s former colonies of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome.

Jihadists killed in Belgian terror swoop were inspired by the murder of Lee Rigby and planned to kidnap a policeman and decapitate him in the street

Belgium terrorists

  • Belgium’s ministry of justice said a ‘second Paris (attack) has been avoided’ after police smash Islamic terror cell 
  • ISIS cell planned to film horrific murder of policeman or judge and circulate the footage online, police sources said
  • Belgian prosecutor says extremists were inspired by murder of Lee Rigby on the streets of Woolwich in 2013
  • Commandos killed two suspected Islamic State jihadists and arrest a third in swoop in eastern town of Verviers
  • Dead suspects believed to be Redouane Hagaoui (Abu Khalid Al Maghribi) and Tarik Jadaoun (Abu Hamza Belgiki) 
  • Terror cell was ‘equipped with Belgian police uniforms, four Kalashnikov machine guns, handguns and explosives’
  • Dozens of simultaneous raids across country were ‘triggered by return of terror kingpin from abroad to Verviers’
  • Some cell members were not at home and could now be at large, source close to the investigation told MailOnline 

The Belgian terror cell who planned to behead a policeman in the street in ‘a second Paris’ attack were inspired by the murder of fusilier Lee Rigby two years ago, the lead investigator has revealed.

Federal prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt, who coordinated a series of raids on 12 alleged terrorist hideouts across Belgium told Mail Online: ‘Their plan was to launch attacks similar to that in London when a soldier was killed. They wanted to kill policeman on the street .’

The radical Islamic group also wanted to film the horrific murder and then circulate the footage online, bringing the brutality of ISIS to the West, police sources said.

Fusilier Rigby was brutally murdered on the streets of Woolwich in March 2013 by extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale who forced a passer-by to record the aftermath. They are currently serving life in jail for the killing.

Two members of the Belgian terror cell were gunned down by armed officers in Verviers overnight, while a third was overpowered after being wounded.

The group was reportedly equipped with Belgian police uniforms, four Kalashnikov machine guns, handguns and explosives. Another part of their twisted plot included taking a number of hostages by seizing a bus, it was reported by Belgium’s RTL broadcaster.

In total 13 people were arrested in last night’s raids, according to Mr Van der Sypt, but he could not rule out the possibility that others were still at large. He said: ‘As with any investigation of this kind you cannot rule out that there are members that are unaccounted for.’

The dead suspects are believed to be Redouane Hagaoui, 22, also known as Abu Khalid Al Maghribi, and Tarik Jadaoun, who has the alias Abu Hamza Belgiki.

Read more

Published on Jan 16, 2015 by AlohaSnackbar01

Also see:

Raid on Belgian terror cell confirms threat

verviersWND, by Aaron Klein, Jan. 15, 2015:

Two people were killed in a raid on suspected Islamic radicals Thursday in the Belgian town of Verviers, according to local media.

The raid comes three days after WND exclusively reported there are at least 20 sleeper cells with a combined total of 120 to 180 jihadists ready to act in France, Germany and Belgium.

WND further reported two days later that intelligence information collected by European and Arab countries indicates there is a specific threat against Belgium.

Local officials Thursday said two people have been killed in an anti-terror operation in eastern Belgium.

The BBC is quoting a Belgian TV station saying a third person was wounded in the raid in the town of Verviers and that several arrests were made.

The Agence-France Presse news agency quoted a source in the mayor’s office stating “an operation is under way.” Another official said the raid was “jihadist-related.”

According to unconfirmed reports, raids were taking place elsewhere in Belgium.

As WND reported, chatter within jihadist groups combined with intelligence information collected by European and Arab countries indicates the next major terrorist attack may target the Netherlands or Belgium, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials speaking to WND.

The security officials said a joint effort between European and Arab security services has resulted in the drafting of a list of hundreds of names of potential jihadists, mostly European residents, who could be a part of a series of sleeper cells in Europe. There is an effort to track down the locations of the suspects.

The officials said the list also includes more than 100 suspects who are originally from Chechnya as well as foreign suspects from Palestinian camps in Syria and Lebanon, some of whom may currently be in Europe.

On Tuesday, WND reported Algeria’s intelligence services passed information to several European countries indicating there are at least 20 sleeper cells with a combined total of 120 to 180 jihadists ready to act in France, Germany and Belgium.

Many members of the cells were trained in Tunisia, according to an Algerian intelligence report that was shared with WND by a European official. The report was provided to European interior ministers.

The document also deals with the issue of European citizens traveling to Iraq and Syria to join Islamic terrorist organizations. The Algerian report fingers Saudi-financed mosques in Europe as helping to lead the recruitment of European jihadists to fight in Syria and Iraq.

The Algerians identified by name more than 100 clerics in Western Europe as leaders of the recruitment campaign, which the Algerian report says is coordinated with Salafists mostly located in Tunisia, Yemen and Libya.

Earlier this week, French law enforcement officers were directed to carry their weapons at all times “because terror sleeper cells have been activated over the last 24 hours in the country,” according to a French police source who attended a briefing Saturday and spoke to CNN terror analyst Samuel Laurent.

Amedy Coulibaly, the terrorist suspect killed last Friday after holding citizens hostage in a kosher market in Paris, made phone calls about targeting police officers in France, the source told CNN.

Hostages inside the market also reported hearing Coulibaly speaking on the phone about the targeting of police officers in France.

According to reports, the hostages said Coulibaly told them “militants are going to come – there are going to be more and more.”

According to reports, the hostages said Coulibaly told them that “militants are going to come.”

“There are going to be more and more.”


Published on Jan 15, 2015 by AlohaSnackbar01

BRUSSELS—Belgian security forces killed two terror suspects with links to Syria in a fierce shootout in the eastern city of Verviers on Thursday and arrested another, foiling a major and imminent attack against police buildings, authorities said.

New ‘Charlie Hebdo’ averted: Belgian police say raid kills 2 ISIS-linked jihadists

Belgian anti-terror police on the streets of Colline Street in Verviers, east Belgium, after an anti-terrorist operation there reportedly led to the deaths of up to three suspected jihadists freshly back from Syria

Belgian anti-terror police on the streets of Colline Street in Verviers, east Belgium, after an anti-terrorist operation there reportedly led to the deaths of up to three suspected jihadists freshly back from Syria

Fox News, January 15, 2015

Police stopped a “Belgian Charlie Hebdo” late Thursday, with government agents killing at least two in raids aimed at jihadists returning from Syria who were planning to launch terrorist attacks “on a grand scale,” according to police and prosecutors.

The raids included one on an apartment above a bakery in the eastern city of Verviers, authorities said. They said no officers were injured and that the suspects opened fire on them as the swooped in. Authorities said the terror cell had ties to ISIS and was planning a major attack.

“We’ve averted a Belgian Charlie Hebdo,” an unidentified police officer told La Meuse.

It was not known if the suspects in Belgium had direct links to the terror cell that carried out last week’s attacks in Paris. But much of Europe is deeply concerned about homegrown jihadists sympatizers – and passport holders – who are returning battle-hardened from Iraq and Syria. Thursday’s raids came as a man suspected of selling guns used in last week’s terror attacks in France was being detained in another part of the country.

“We’ve averted a Belgian CharlieHebdo.”- Belgian police officer

Magistrate Eric Van der Sypt told reporters in Brussels the suspects were on the verge of committing a major terrorist attack. He said at emergency news conference that anti-terrorist raids are underway in the Brussels region and Verviers and that Belgium’s terror alert level was raised to its second highest level. The raids were part of an investigation into extremists returning from Syria.

Belgian public television channel RTBF reported that the public prosecutor’s office confirmed the deaths of two suspects and arrests of “several” more. Federal prosecutors were quoted as saying there had been a police operation aimed at jihadists who have returned from the Middle East to the city of 55,000, some 70 miles from Brussels.

Explosions and gunfire were apparently heard near the station, according to Belgium’s public broadcaster RTBF. The Belga news agency said there were several casualties and police activity was continuing. Another official told the agency it was “jihadist-related” and a news conference was scheduled for 8 p.m. local time.

Earlier, Reuters reported that Belgian authorities detained a man for arms dealing and are investigating whether he supplied one of the Islamist gunmen involved in the attacks in Paris, including a raid on the headquarters of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a separate siege at a Jewish supermarket two days later. A total of 17 victims and three terrorists were killed in the events.

Belgian media reported that the suspect turned himself in in the southern city of Charleroi on Tuesday, saying he had been in touch with Amedy Coulibaly, the behind the supermarket attack.

According to the reports, the man said that he swindled Coulibaly in a car sale, but police later found evidence that the two were negotiating about the sale of ammunition for a 7.62 mm caliber firearm.

“The man is being held by the judge in Charleroi on suspicion of arms dealing,” a spokesman for Belgium’s federal prosecution said. “Further investigations will have to show whether there is a link with the events in Paris,” he added.

It was not known if the raid in Belgium was directly related to recent events in France, but the nations share a 385-mile border and are close culturally and politically.On Sunday, the offices of Belgian newspaper Le Soir, a French-language publication that published caricatures of Prophet Muhammad to show solidarity with Charlie Hebdo, were evacuated after a bomb threat. Also on Sunday, thousands marched through Brussels to show support for the French tabloid which was targeted by a pair of radicalized brothers because of its penchant for publishing images of Islam’s prophet.

A German tabloid that reprinted caricatures of Muhammad was firebombed on Sunday. But Charlie Hebdo came out with a new issue on Wednesday, with a caricature of Muhammad on the cover under the title “Tout est pardonne,” or “All is forgiven.”

Published on Jan 15, 2015 by Truth Revolt

The Islamization of Belgium and the Netherlands in 2013

Belgian Salafisrby Soeren Kern:

In January, the gangland shootings of two young Moroccan men in downtown Amsterdam drew renewed attention to the growing problem of violent crime among Muslim immigrants. The two men were gunned down with AK-47 assault rifles in a shooting the mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan, described as reminiscent of “the Wild West.”

In March, the Dutch public broadcasting system NOS television reported that the Netherlands has become one of the major European suppliers of Islamic jihadists. According to NOS, about 100 Dutch Muslims are active as jihadists in Syria; most have joined the notorious Jabhat al-Nusra rebel group.

Belgium and the Netherlands have some of the largest Muslim communities in the European Union, in percentage terms.

Belgium is home to an estimated 650,000 Muslims, or around 6% of the overall population, based on an average of several statistical estimates. The Netherlands is home to an estimated 925,000 Muslims, which also works out to around 6% of the overall population. Within the EU, only France (7.5%) has more Muslims in relative terms.

Belgian and Dutch cities have significant Muslim populations, comprised mostly of Turkish and Moroccan immigrants, as well as a growing number of converts to Islam.

The number of Muslims in Brussels—where roughly half of the number of Muslims in Belgium currently live—has reached 300,000, which means that the self-styled “Capital of Europe” is now one of the most Islamic cities in Europe.

In 2013, Muslims made up approximately 26% of the population of metropolitan Brussels, followed by Rotterdam (25%), Amsterdam (24%), Antwerp (17%), The Hague (14%) and Utrecht (13%), according to a panoply of research.

Not coincidentally, Belgium and the Netherlands have been at the forefront of the debate over Muslim immigration and integration in Europe. What follows is a chronological summary of some of the main stories about the rise of Islam in Belgium and the Netherlands during 2013.

In January, the Belgian branch of the Dutch department store chain HEMA lost a wrongful termination lawsuitfiled by a Muslim shop assistant whose contract was not renewed because she refused to stop wearing a hijab, the traditional Islamic headscarf.

The woman, a Belgian convert to Islam, had been employed as temporary sales staff for two months, during which time she wore the hijab at work. But when customers complained, the store manager asked her to remove the headscarf.

After she refused to comply, HEMA declined to extend her contract in sales, but did offer her an alternative job in its warehouse, where she would not have direct contact with clients. She said the alternative job offer was unsatisfactory and then consulted a lawyer.

Lawyers defending the Belgian shop said that to maintain the “neutral and discreet image of HEMA, the shop did not want employees wearing any kind of religious symbols.”

But a labor court in the nearby Belgian city of Tongeren ruled that HEMA did not have a clearly stated policy on headscarves and thus had no valid justification to dismiss the woman. The court ordered HEMA to pay the 21-year-old woman €9,000 ($12,000), the equivalent of six month’s salary, as compensation.

According to the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism, an NGO that helped bring the woman’s case to trial, the main purpose of the legal action was to clarify how far a company can go in seeking to present a “neutral image” to its customers. The NGO believes neutrality cannot be invoked as a genuine and determining occupational requirement, and says it is not self-evident that neutrality can amount to a legitimate goal if and when it is chiefly invoked to please a private company’s clients.

Also in January, the gangland shootings of two young Moroccan men in downtown Amsterdam drew renewed attention to the growing problem of violent crime among Muslim immigrants. The two men were gunned down with AK-47 assault rifles in a shooting the mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan, described as reminiscent of “the Wild West.”

According to the Amsterdam-based newspaper Het Parool, young Moroccans continue their “unstoppable march to become the largest group of violent criminals” in the country, despite decades of government programs aimed at steering young Muslims away from a life of crime. Moroccan gangsters specialize mainly in robberies of banks and jewelry stores, as well as in drug trafficking, according to Het Parool.

Meanwhile, the Dutch newspaper Trouw reported that the Protestant Church of the Netherlands is planning to close up to 800 of its 2,000 churches around the country due to the dwindling number of practicing Christians. Critics of the move say many of these buildings are likely to be converted into mosques.

In February, Members of the Belgian Parliament introduced a bill that would limit the power of Muslim extremists who win elected office at the local or national levels and isolate themselves from the political mainstream.

The move came after members of the newly established Islam Party vowed to implement Islamic Sharia law in Belgium.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

European Anti-Semitism and the Fear of Muslims

by Timon Dias:

When European history teachers omit the Holocaust from their curriculum, they do not do this because they hate their Jewish students more than their Muslim students. They omit it because they are afraid of their Muslim students. They might also believe they do it to be “nice,” but then how come this same “niceness” is not afforded to the Jews?

In the “Stockholm Syndrome,” now seen, ironically, in Sweden, victims start bonding with their abusers in the wish that if they share the same values as their abusers, their abusers might stop abusing them. “We must be open and tolerant toward Islam and Muslims because when we become a minority, they will be so toward us.” — Jens Orback, former Swedish government minister.

The European Union [EU] is singling out Israel for sanctions. Not only are the officials at the EU failing to boycott other regions that legally count as occupied territories, but they are actively aiding at least one clearly occupying power, Turkey, in the Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus: in 2006, the EU approved a $259 million aid package for the Turkish Cypriot community there. In addition to that double-standard, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, has revealed noticeable prejudice on multiple occasions, the latest example being when she felt compelled to compare the Toulouse massacre to “what’s happening in Gaza,” any similarities to which would objectively be hard to come by.

Is there, then, an EU tendency to be anti-Semitic? As Thomas Friedman once wrote “Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest.”


Jens Orback (center), a former Swedish government minister, famously said: “We must be open and tolerant toward Islam and Muslims because when we become a minority, they will be so toward us.” (Image source: Swedish Social Democratic Party/Anders Löwdin)

Recently, a shocking development was reported on in Belgium by Peter Martino, in which elementary schools are using government approved anti-Semitic textbooks for their history classes. That report recalled a Belgian girl in 2008, who wore a small star of David around her neck, and told the author she had just been refused entry to a bus in Belgium by a bus driver who said that, as a Muslim, he could not allow her to enter the bus. In the 21st century, in Western Europe, a girl was turned away from a public bus because she was a Jew.

What still stings me is that I did not take her seriously; what she said, however, has proven anything but far fetched. A 2011 study by Mark Elchardus, relates that one out of every two Muslim students in Brussels — half — are anti-Semitic. A recent study roughly replicated the same results for the Belgian cities of Ghent and Antwerp. Conversely, Belgium is also the country that is allowing Abou Jahjah, founder of the Arab-European League, a known anti-Semite and Hezbollah affiliate, accused of instigating riots and forming a private militia, to return to Belgium after having left it for Lebanon in 2006 to “fight off the foreign invasion” alongside Hezbollah. A country in which officials teach schoolchildren that the Holocaust was similar to “what’s happening in Gaza”; that accepts the return of a man who was part of a foreign hostile fighting force and says he “felt a sense of victory” on 9/11, is indeed likely to become a country where a girl is refused entry on a bus because she is Jewish.

How is this dynamic to be explained? Besides the latent or active anti-Semitism that might drive EU leaders in their unequally-applied conduct toward Israel — as opposed to other nations such as Turkey that are committing the same alleged offense — another explanation is worth exploring.

The author Ali Salim recently began a popular article with: “We Muslims make the mistake of thinking Europeans really care about us, especially the Palestinians. We are wrong. Europeans simply hate the Jews more than they hate and fear us.”

Although possible, it might also be worth to consider, an alternative explanation: that many Europeans fear Muslims more than they fear Jews, and therefore give in to anti-Semitic tendencies. When European history teachers, for example, omit the Holocaust from their curriculum in order not to offend Muslim students, they do not do that because they hate their Jewish students more than they hate their Muslim students. They do it because they are terrified of their Muslim students.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Bombing Into Unintended Consequences in Syria

by Abigail R. Esman:

Islam Conquering Higher European Education

by Soeren Kern:

Critics say that such efforts to create a “European Islam” are naïve and misguided, and will serve only to contribute to the “mainstreaming” of a religious and political ideology that is intrinsically opposed to all aspects of the European way of life.

The Catholic University of Leuven, the oldest university in Belgium and one that has been a major contributor to the development of Roman Catholic theology for more than 500 years, will offer a degree in Islamic theology beginning in 2014.

The decision by KU Leuven, as the university is commonly known, to focus on Islam follows similar moves by other leading universities in Europe and reflects the growing influence of Islam on the continent.


Castle Arenberg, part of the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. The university will offer a degree in Islamic theology beginning in 2014. (Image credit: Juhanson/Wikimedia Commons)

The proliferation of degree programs in Islamic theology is being justified by European governments — which are subsidizing the teaching of Islam in European universities with taxpayer money — as a way to “professionalize” the training of Muslim imams, or religious teachers, many of whom do not even speak the language of their European host countries.

Some European governments believe that by controlling the religious education of imams, they can promote the establishment of a “European Islam,” one that combines Islamic principles and duties with European values and traditions such as the rule of law, democracy, human rights and gender equality.

But critics say such efforts to create a “European Islam” are naïve and misguided, and will serve only to contribute to the “mainstreaming” of a religious and political ideology that is intrinsically opposed to all aspects of the European way of life.

The KU Leuven degree in Islamic theology will be offered within the department of World Religions, Interreligious Dialogue and Religious Studies (WIDR). The program is intended only for those who already have a bachelor’s degree, a requirement that would appear to eliminate the chances for admission for a vast majority of the imams in Belgium and elsewhere in Europe.

Moreover, KU Leuven’s Islam courses will be taught only in Dutch, a linguistic barrier that will presumably exclude many other practicing imams from participating in the degree program. In addition, the university has not yet revealed who will be teaching the courses on Islam, nor has it published information concerning the academic credentials of the professors who will be running the new program.

In order to earn the degree, students must prepare a thesis and also complete an internship as an Islam counsellor in public institutions such as hospitals, youth programs and prisons, etc.

Read more at Gatestone Institute


U.S. Administration Wrongly Advocates the Islamist Interpretation of Islamophobia

syriaBy Walid Phares:

The State Department issued a report denouncing what it called “a spike in anti-Islamic sentiment in Europe and Asia.” It said that “Muslims also faced new restrictions in 2012 in countries ranging from Belgium, which banned face-covering religious attire in classrooms, to India[,] where schools in Mangalore restricted headscarves.”

The State Department report confuses religious persecution, which is to be condemned, with politicization of religions, which is a matter of debate and includes strategies of which the U.S. government should not be a part. If countries ban the right to pray, broadcast, and write about theology — any theology — this would be against human rights. But Belgium and India do not ban religions per se. In fact, they are more tolerant regarding diverse religious practice than most of the members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The Obama administration is not criticizing secular European and Asian governments for deciding to ban prayer or theologically philosophical dissertations, but rather criticizing these countries for banning the hijab or niqab in public places.

The administration understands the wearing of the hijab as a religious injunction for all Muslims. This is not the case, as senior theologians have decreed, including al Azhar, and the niqab is not a universal Muslim obligation, as one can see in 53 Muslim-majority countries. It is a matter of choice. The organized groups calling for a systematic imposition of the niqab are Islamist forces. This translates politically into an official endorsement on the Obama administration’s part of the Islamist political agenda under the camouflage of religious rights.

The Obama administration, by using the charge of Islamophobia against countries that oppose the political agenda of an ideological and political faction comprising those known as Salafists and Khomeinists, has become a partner with these factions against secular, liberal, reformist movements who do not abide by the niqab rule. It is one thing to defend religious communities and something else to defend the agenda of ideological factions. The niqab is part and parcel of the ideological agenda advocated by the Islamists, not a tenet held by all Muslims. If the Obama administration is worried about the Islamist agenda not yet met by European and Asian countries, it should claim so, but the administration cannot claim defense of a religious injunction to all Muslims while the latter have no consensus on the matter.

It has been noted over the past few years that U.S. foreign policy towards the Middle East, the Arab world, and Muslim-majority countries has come increasingly under the influence of pressure groups, identified also as “lobbies,” implementing the doctrinal and political agendas of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Iranian Khomeinist regime. The State Department has been made to believe that the Islamist agenda and the beliefs and values of all Muslims are one, which is a grave mistake.

Read more: Family Security Matters


“Belgium Will Become an Islamic State”

by Soeren Kern:

The statements of Mark Elchardus, author of a 426 page study, who linked Islam with anti-Semitism, earned him a lawsuit filed by a Muslim group, which said that his comments violated Belgium’s anti-discrimination law of 2007, which forbids discrimination on the basis of “religious convictions,” and Article 444 of the Belgian penal code as his statements appeared in a newspaper and were therefore repeated extensively in print. Belgian law, however, apparently did not prevent Muslims from resorting to anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

Two Muslim politicians, who just won municipal elections in Belgium’s capital, Brussels, on October 14, have vowed to implement Islamic Sharia law in Belgium.

The two candidates, Lhoucine Aït Jeddig and Redouane Ahrouch, both from the fledgling Islam Party, won seats in two heavily Islamized municipalities of Brussels, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean and Anderlecht, respectively.

During a post-election press conference in Brussels on October 25, the two future councilors, who will be officially sworn in on December 3, said they regard their election as key to the assertion of the Muslim community in Belgium.

“We are elected Islamists but above all we are Muslims,” Ahrouch said. “Islam is compatible with the laws of the Belgian people. As elected Muslims, we embrace the Koran and the tradition of the Prophet Mohammed. We believe Islam is a universal religion. Our presence on the town council will give us the opportunity to express ourselves,” said Ahrouch, who refuses to shake hands or make eye contact with females in public.

A one-hour video of the press conference in French has been posted on YouTube. At one point in the video (0:07:40) Ahrouch, 42, says he will strive to make sure that the town council’s “motions and solutions are durable and definitive and will emanate from Islam.”

Ahrouch, who was sentenced to six months in prison in 2003 for the assault and battery of his disabled wife, also spends considerable time talking about ethics in politics and “respect for the other.”

Elsewhere in the video (0:25:40), Aït Jeddig, 50, commends Islam as having paved the way for “the emergence of European civilization.” (He makes no mention of Europe’s Judeo-Christian or Greek-Roman roots.) He also insists that Islam is compatible with freedom and democracy.

The video ends with an interview of a third Islam Party candidate, Abdelhay Bakkali Tahar, 51, who did not garner enough votes to secure a seat in the district of Bruxelles Ville.

The Islam Party, which plans to field candidates in European-level elections in 2014, campaigned on three core issues: ensuring that halal meals are served in public school cafeterias, securing the official recognition of Muslim religious holidays, and pushing for a law that would legalize the wearing of Islamic headscarves in public spaces.

Ahrouch has run for political office before. In 1999, he founded a political party called “Noor: Le Parti Islamique,” which promotes a 40-point program based on Islamic Sharia law. These points include, among other items: 7) abolishing interest payments [riba] in the Belgian banking sector; 10) redesigning the Belgian judiciary to comply with Islamic law; 11) restoring capital punishment; 12) prohibiting alcohol and cigarettes; 15) promoting teenage marriage; 16) segregating males and females in public spaces; 20) outlaw gambling and the lottery; and 39) creating an official Islamic alms fund [Zakat].

Ahrouch says that his ultimate goal, creating an Islamic state in Belgium based on Islamic Sharia law, has not changed.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

“Islam to Topple Man-made Democracy”

By Soeren Kern:

Leaders of the group say the  purpose of Belgium’s first Sharia Law court  is to create a parallel  legal system to challenge the state’s authority as the  enforcer of the  civil law protections guaranteed by the Belgian  constitution.

Police in Amsterdam have arrested the spokesperson of the Islamist  group  Sharia4Holland on charges of making death threats against the  Dutch Freedom  Party leader, Geert Wilders.

Abu Qasim was arrested after a speech he gave in Amsterdam’s central Dam  Square on May 25 (video in Dutch here), when he warned that Wilders would be  “dealt with” once the Netherlands became an Islamic state.

Qasim also called Wilders “this dog of the Romans” and — referring to the  Dutch filmmaker and Islam critic who was murdered by a Dutch-Moroccan Muslim in  2004 — warned that  Wilders should learn lessons from “the case of Theo van  Gogh.”

Amsterdam’s multiculturally-minded police initially refused to intervene in the case. Although making death threats is a criminal offense in Holland, police instead arrested a passer-by who tried to challenge the Sharia4Holland speaker.

Qasim was not arrested until three days after the event, after local  politician Robert Flos,  speaking on AT5 television, asked Amsterdam’s left-wing  mayor, Eberhard  van der Laan, why city police did not intervene when Qasim  threatened  Wilders with death.

Qasim, a 29-year-old Islamist who lives in the central Dutch city of Woerden,  is now scheduled to appear in court on July 11.

Sharia4Holland — and its Siamese twin Sharia4Belgium — is a radical  Muslim  movement that wants to impose Islamic Sharia law in the  Netherlands, Belgium  and the rest of Europe. Over the past several  months, Sharia4Holland and  Sharia4Belgium have become increasingly  belligerent in their appeals to fellow  Muslims to overthrow the  democratic order in Europe.

Dutch Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten,  in testimony to the Dutch Parliament  on May 29, said that radical  Muslims are becoming more provocative and activist  and “there is a risk  that Sharia4Holland supporters could cross the line and  use violence.”

In December 2011, the Dutch Intelligence Service AIVD said it was concerned  about the rapid radicalization of Sharia4Holland.  AIVD issued the advisory  after Sharia4Belgium released a video in which  the Belgian Islamist Sheik Abu  Imran (aka Fouad Belkacem, who is  Sharia4Belgium’s main spokesman) declared  that the black flag of Islamic  Jihad will “soon be flying on top of all the  palaces in Europe.”

The December 11 video, which has been translated into English by the Middle  East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), shows Imran dressed in military  camouflage calling for the destruction of the Atomium, a monument in Brussels  that is the national symbol of Belgium.

Imran says: “This is a short message to the King of Belgium and  specifically  to the Muslims in Belgium. This is the flag [black flag of  jihad] that, Allah  willing, will soon be flying on top of that building  over there [the Belgian  royal palace]. There you see the flag [Belgian  flag] of the Taghut [idolaters],  the infidels, and soon the flag of  ‘there is no god but Allah’ will be flying  there, on top of that palace,  and on top of all the other palaces in Europe,  until Allah willing, we  reach the White House.We will not rest, we will not  stop, until this  flag flies on top of that building [the royal palace].”

The video then continues from another location in Brussels —  directly in  front of the Atomium. Imran says: “We can see nowadays how  people are taking  photos, and how people from all over Brussels and from  all over Europe, come  here for what is called ‘tourism’ and take photos  of this monument. They hold  on to this monument. On top, you can see  the Belgian flag. This monument is a  symbol of Belgium.Soon, Belgium  will fall apart. May Allah disperse them and  their country. Amen. Then  this symbol will be useless to them.”

Read more: Family Security Matters