Europe has lost the Islamic war

img715001There is a war, but only the attackers are fighting it. Europe just wants to be left in peace.

Arutz Sheva, by Giulio Meotti, July 25, 2016:

The Wall Street Journal just published a shocking article revealing what Patrick Calvar, France’s director general of intelligence, has in mind.

“The confrontation is inevitable,” said Mr. Calvar. There are an estimated 15,000 Salafists among France’s seven million Muslims, “whose radical-fundamentalist creed dominates many of the predominantly Muslim housing projects at the edges of cities such as Paris, Nice or Lyon. Their preachers call for a civil war, with all Muslims tasked to wipe out the miscreants down the street”.

Yes, France is heading toward the “inevitable confrontation”. 84 adults and children have just been tortured to death in Nice by a truck whose driver  told a guard he was bringing ice creams to celebrants of the French holiday of egalitarian values. An apparent gesture of mortuary hysteria, but in fact a spectacular horrendous massacre celebrated by the international Jihad and by many European Muslims.

Meanwhile, in response, Europe just renewed its show of shallow rhetoric. Take the declarations of the French leaders after the attack at Charlie Hebdo, Paris’ theatre and restaurants and now in Nice. These are always identical.

Nobody is really fighting this war. Europe just wants to be left in peace.

On the ashes of the World Trade Center, George W. Bush rose to the fight. In those years, the United States and its European allies proved themselves “the stronger horse” and the forces of the “weaker horse” of Al Qaeda began to lose heart. When Islamists were thrown on the defensive, recruits dropped off. Attacks on Western cities diminished.

After eight years of Barack Hussein Obama and Europe’s retreat from the war on terror, the West appears to be the weaker horse and the Islamists the stronger one.

A few days ago, I asked Professor Bruce Thornton of California State University what Europe should do to reverse this horrible trend. His answer was revealing: “There is no political will for waging total war against ISIS. It would require 100,000 troops and massive bombing to eliminate as many jihadists as possible. We would have to abandon rules of engagement that privilege the enemy’s people over our own. At home, we would have to increase deportations and publicly demani[d] that Muslim communities in the West disavow Jihadism and Sharia law”.

Of course, Europe and the West are not adopting any of these important and clearly articulated measures.

-Radical Islamists have already infiltrated Europe’s universities, mosques and cities’ outskirts.

-Institutional Islam has been able to convince Europeans that terror “has nothing to do with Islam”.

-Mainstream media is refusing even to spell the name of the enemy and it is just preparing new articles about the next victims of Jihad.

-Pope Francis is busy in preaching clemency to everybody.

-The remnant of European Jewry is fleeing the old continent.

-Europe’s armies are getting smaller by the day.

Abandon any hope: Without a major cultural revolution and shock, Europe is lost, Islamists will win! And as it goes along, we will cede more and more of our freedom and civilization to the Grand Jihad.

Daniel Pipes: Three possibilities for Europe’s future as Islamization rises

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The Rebel, July 15, 2016:

At least 84 people were murdered yesterday in France’s third major Islamist terrorist attack in less than a year. In our latest video collaboration with the Gatestone Institute, Daniel Pipes talks about Europe’s crossroads:

Will Europeans succumb to Islamization, or will they rise to fight radical Islam and hold onto Western values? How it looks so far?

The Rape of Germany

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PJ MEDIA, BY MICHAEL WALSH, JULY 11, 2016:

Women of Germany (and Europe): you can thank Angela Merkel for this:

At first, there was complete silence from officials. As rumors spread on social media, police had nothing to say about allegations of mass sexual assaults and other crimes carried out on New Year’s Eve in the German city of Cologne. It was only days later that officials reported that hundreds of women were victims of assault in Cologne, Hamburg and other German cities.But numbers that are now emerging are likely to shock a country still coming to terms with what happened in Cologne more than half a year ago. According to a leaked police document, published by Germany’sSueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and broadcasters NDR and WDR, the previous estimates have to be dramatically revised — upward.

Authorities now think that on New Year’s Eve, more than 1,200 women were sexually assaulted in various German cities, including more than 600 in Cologne and about 400 in Hamburg. More than 2,000 men were allegedly involved, and 120 suspects — about half of them foreign nationals who had only recently arrived in Germany — have been identified.

You can also thank, in no particular order, a “feminist” ascendancy that has marginalized traditional masculinity, a weak quasi-socialist culture that has not had to provide for its own defense since the end of World War II, a declining birth rate that has pushed chancellor Merkel (herself childless and thus with no personal stake in the future) to import a million Muslims in the idiotic hope that they would provide both Germany’s future work force (this from a culture that cannot build a functioning flush toilet) and its heavily taxed taxpayers to keep the social safety net in place (good luck with that).

Officials have linked the sexual assaults to the influx of refugees. “There is a connection between the emergence of this phenomenon and the rapid migration in 2015,” Holger Münch, president of the German Federal Crime Police Office, told Sueddeutsche Zeitung. Many suspects had originally come to Germany from North African countries rather than Syria, officials said. 

Germany’s Parliament passed a stricter sexual-assault law last week that will make it easier for courts to sentence those who facilitate or are involved in assaults. The new law will be based on the premise that “no means no,” meaning that sexual assault can be punished as rape if the offender ignores the “discernible contrary will” of the victim.

Naturally, the German Left is against it:

Halina Wawzyniak, a lawmaker from the Left Party, told The Washington Post last week that immigration issues and sexual-assault cases should not be linked, as refugees could end up facing a “double punishment” by being deported. “The debate used to be about ‘no means no’ — now all that is being talked about in social networks are foreigners again,” she said.

Why the Merkel government hasn’t fallen by now is a tribute to the passivity of the German people, which we and the Russians beat into them at the conclusion of the war. But in the coming confrontation with recrudescent Islam — whose goal really is world conquest, lest we forget — Germany is going to need to relocate its spine if it wants to survive with its national pride intact and its women unmolested, instead of taken as spoils of war in the Dar al-Harb.

Judge Jeanine: ‘It’s Time to Take Our Country Back’

Fox News Insider, June 26, 2016:

On “Justice” last night, Judge Jeanine Pirro said the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union is just the beginning of a worldwide revolution, and the next stop is the U.S.

“The world is changing, and all you elite establishment, ruling class, condescending Washington bigwigs, who think you know better than ordinary Americans, are out,” Judge Jeanine said. “Start packing. Your days are numbered.”

She said that millions of American citizens who are unhappy with the direction of the country will catapult Donald Trump into the White House.

“It’s time to take the country back,” Judge Jeanine said.

“Every week, I speak to you in front of a backdrop. But it’s so much more than that. It’s the American flag. It represents the spilled blood and treasure of those who gave up everything for this great nation. It stands for freedom, equality and justice. And I’m damn proud of it.”

Watch Judge Jeanine’s opening statement above and read a full transcript below.


What happened in England is going to happen again. Next stop: the United States. Next president: Donald J. Trump.

What happened in the U.K. is just the beginning. The world is changing, and all you elite establishment, ruling class, condescending Washington bigwigs who think you know better than ordinary Americans are out. Start packing. Your days are numbered.

I told you this election was a revolution – but even I didn’t know how big it would be.

It’s worldwide. The headlines scream it. The working class who toil everyday to pay their rent and put food on their families’ tables are tired of being lectured by the fat cats in Washington and Brussels who preach what we need and when we need it. The Brits in a monumental upset made their voices heard this week voting to exit the European Union. You know the place with open borders being overrun by immigrants as they watch their economies falter. Similarly, Americans fed up with this “we are the world” dance will catapult Donald Trump to the White House.

News flash: we don’t want an internationalist country, world banks, globalization of our economy, a country with no border and no identity. You are not allowed to change the identity of this country. Americans want a nation-state, our own country with a history of freedom combined with responsibility. And yet our proud history – even our money – is being rewritten to accommodate a new world view.

We are so beaten down by political correctness that most of us are numb to the surrender of America.

And as for those naysayers. The ones who say Donald Trump just can’t win, listen up: those naysayers in England, got it all wrong. Prime Minister Cameron got it all wrong you know-the one who criticized Donald trump for his temporary ban on Muslims… And now he’s out. Obama too got it all wrong– jetting to England as if he were the world’s dictator-telling the Brits what’s good for them. And while we’re at it– Hillary Clinton got it wrong on just about everything, except her bank account.

When the president of the United States – a country founded on Judeo Christian ethics – tells Christians at a prayer breakfast no less, to get off their high horse, after Christians get their heads cut off-not even willing to mention Islamic extremism when the president of the united states allows hordes of immigrants who’s names– let alone backgrounds – we don’t even know – as ISIS proudly announces they are infiltrating these refugees… When states are not even notified who the federal government is sending to live in their neighborhoods, flying in unknowns from central America and the middle east en masse, who demand Sharia law in place of American law – then we are in the wilderness, folks.

And I don’t want to hear that Americans need to be more humble that we need more humility that my free speech needs to be tamped down so as not to offend another’s’ religion.

Nowhere does our Constitution say we cannot say something about another’s religion. Nowhere does our Constitution say we cannot say anything that offends someone. And by the way nowhere does it say I can’t have a gun. Do not use our Constitution against us while you use the same Constitution to shield those who violate our laws, showering them with all the rights and benefits but none of the responsibilities.

When our president’s first response to an American getting his head cut off is to show up in a golf cart and then keep on golfing-when he and his attorney generals response to Americans being killed by Muslim terrorists is to stand up for Muslims, then it’s time to take our country back

And don’t tell me that to not take these people in is not who we are. I know who we are.

My grandfather was part of the greatest generation that stormed the beach in Normandy. My dad saw the plume in Nagasaki. And later died because of it. No. Don’t you preach to me. I know who we are and I know who I am. I am an unapologetic nationalist. I am an unapologetic American.

And that Statue of Liberty – give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses

We never had a problem taking them in from the beginning. We are the most generous country in the world. I’ve sworn in newly naturalized citizens for years and have never been more proud of America. But they have to do it legally. They have to swear allegiance to America, follow our laws, and not be exempt from arrest because of their illegal status, as they are in sanctuary cities.

Even the Supreme Court had to stop the president, who attempted to ban the deportation of four million illegals and give them an automatic right to work here.

When a man running for president proudly carries with him the sword of socialism and when a woman running for president accepts monies from countries that kill gays and stone women to death for her family’s so called charity, when their holdings are invested in the Cayman Islands, and her husband is middle man to some of the world’s biggest deals, as they feather their nest at the expense of America, it’s time to take the country back.

No, I don’t believe in globalization. I don’t believe in this international mumbo jumbo. I don’t believe in self-denigration. I believe in our nation-state. I believe in borders. And I believe in the law, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence that outlines the character of who we are. Every week, I speak to you in front of a backdrop. But it’s so much more than that. It’s the American flag. It represents the spilled blood and treasure of those who gave up everything for this great nation. It stands for freedom, equality and justice. And I’m damn proud of it.

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ISIS calls for attacks in Berlin and Brussels to ‘paralyse’ Europe in wake of Brexit chaos

isis brexit

Mirror, June 24, 2016:

A jihadi Telegram channel expressed joy for the economic impact and fracturing of the EU following the British referendum.

Islamic State has expressed its delight for the expected negative economic impact on the United Kingdom and the European Union following the British referendum – and called for attacks in Berlin and Brussels to “paralyse” Europe.

A jihadi Telegram – an encrypted messaging service popular with militants – praised the economic chaos that came in the wake of the EU Referendum and urged followers to strike at the heart of mainland Europe, according to terror threat monitor Site.

UK military chiefs have warned there is a “serious and direct threat to holiday resorts across Europe'”from groups like ISIS.

The Foreign Office (FCO) says “there is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria”.

Belgian authorities say the plot required “immediate intervention” after they arrested 12 people in Brussels.

The Belgian’s team – nicknamed the Red Devils – are due to play the Republic of Ireland in Bordeaux at 2pm this afternoon.

It is believed the attack was due to take place in the Belgium capital while fans watched the match on TV.

Farouk Özgünes, from Flemish public broadcaster VTM said: “The suspects were planning to carry out attacks while the Red Devils were playing a match at the European Championships this weekend.

Read more

Also see:

Gorka on Brexit: ‘Last Nail in Coffin Was EU’s Unfettered Immigration Policies’

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Fox News Insider, June 24, 2016:

Dr. Sebastian Gorka, terrorism expert and author of “Defeating Jihad,” said today on Fox Business that the historic Brexit is an “assertion of sovereignty” by U.K. voters and a rejection of “utopian” globalism.

He told Trish Regan that it’s “common sense, not xenophobia” to be concerned about massive influxes of Middle Eastern refugees into European nations, especially after the attacks in Paris and Brussels.

Gorka explained that ISIS terrorists infiltrated Brussels using false Syrian passports and arrived as refugees.

“The director of the FBI has stated in front of Congress that there is no credible way to vet refugees,” he pointed out, noting that ISIS has said in its own English-language publications that it wants to exploit refugee flows.

Gorka said that many Europeans want to see clear national borders and “security control based on our national interests.”

“The last nail in the coffin in the EU from the point of view of the UK was this unfettered immigration into the continent,” said Gorka.

He said that the Brexit is “tied at the hip with the Donald Trump effect” in the U.S., and the question now is whether Trump can capitalize on that sentiment.

Brexit Strikes a Blow for Merry England

Saint_George_and_the_Dragon_by_Paolo_Uccello_Paris_01Inflamed by watching their culture and heritage washed away, British voters reassert sovereignty against an anti-democratic European Union. Others will surely follow.

By CounterJihad, June 24, 2016:

‘You should have listened!’ James Bloodworth writes at the International Business Times.

It was, as the former home secretary Jack Straw recently admitted, a ‘spectacular mistake’ to throw open the doors in 2004, a ‘well-intentioned policy we messed up’.  Labour expected only around 13,000 migrants a year to arrive in Britain; instead the figure was in the hundreds of thousands, hitting a record level of 333,000 just four weeks ago….

Hostility to immigration – and by extension hostility to Europe – is driven by cultural concerns as much as by economic worries. That’s certainly what the University of Oxford’s Migration Observatory has been saying in recent years. It has pointed out on a number of occasions that cultural concerns better explain negative attitudes towards migration than a person’s economic position. In essence it is about whether England feels like England.

Instead, as he points out, critics of immigration were either said to be driven by fears about their personal wealth, or by darker racist undertones.  The real issue was always preserving a civilization with a bright tradition of liberty and a feeling of being at home.

That is what this mass migration was destroying, however firmly that immigration was insisted upon by the European Union’s elite, the Labour party, and the Tories.  Vox explains that immigration as the whole cause of the Brexit vote.  This one graph, they claim, shows why the vote went the way it did.

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Much of the immigration was from Eastern Europe, but the sense of watching one’s civilization destroyed from within was probably fired chiefly by incidents featuring a rampant and radical Islam.  Protests demanding sharia law provoked not a defense of British tradition by the government, but an attempt to silence native Britons who were offended by the idea of setting aside their laws and traditions.  Incidents in which Muslim street gangs enforced sharia law in London cut against the sense of England being England, as the traditions of the neighborhood pub and good honest beer came under literal attack.  Murders of British soldiers in the streets, with chants of “You and your children will be next,” told the British people that their government was not defending their home or their way of life.

And, of course, there was the ongoing saga of Rotherham, where police turned a blind eye to a Pakistani-led child-rape ring for more than a decade.  “There was a Home Office investigation into charges that Tony Blair’s government had known of the ring as early as 2001, but did nothing because it conflicted with ‘his government’s efforts to pacify Muslim communities.’

These same forces are at work all across Europe.  The BBC states:

For Europe, it is a political earthquake. No country has voted to leave the EU in its present form before. It will encourage other parties in other countries to hold similar referendums. The leader of the Far Right in France, Marine Le Pen, immediately welcomed the result.

France is one of the core members of the European Union, but the sentiment is rising perhaps faster in the other major remaining member:  Germany.  The German government has gone beyond England’s in its intense suppression of concerns about mass immigration destroying the native culture.  It has also gone beyond England in trying to import vast numbers of refugees and new immigrants, especially from the Islamic world.  It has done so in spite of clear evidence that these cultures clash severely with Germany’s own, such as the mass sexual assaults in Cologne, brutal attacks on Christian refugees by Muslim refugees, a substantial increase in crime including Islamist street gangs, and the introduction of sex-segregation in German swimming pools and on German trains.

There is no European Union without France and Germany.  The refusal of the elites to listen to these legitimate cultural concerns has driven a vast increase in the popularity of so-called “right wing”political organizations in both central countries.  The EU itself is endangered by its refusal to heed the people’s concerns.

This is as it should be.  The purpose of politics, Aristotle tells us, is not just a common market, not just “a common place, established for the prevention of mutual crime and for the sake of exchange.”  It aims at a good life, he says, in which families and members of cities share a common culture of amusements, brotherhoods, traditions, and celebrations.  Alternatively, the American founders wrote that the purpose of any government is the protection of liberty.  A government that becomes destructive to the traditional liberties of its people ought to be altered or abolished, and replaced with something better suited to the true purpose of government.  The EU fails both the ancient and the modern tests of legitimacy.

It is a new day for the British, a day of freedom.  They have struck a blow for “Merry England and Saint George,” as befits the best part of their heritage.  Others are sure to follow them.

***

Also see:

VIDEO: Is Europe Doomed by Migrants?

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

Gatestone Institute,  June 18, 2016:

Most of the millions of overwhelmingly male migrants who have come to Europe in the past two years are not refugees fleeing war zones. Douglas Murray, in our latest video, discusses the total failure of Germany and other countries to integrate the migrants, and what the consequences will be. “If you have jobs in Germany that need filling, why on earth wouldn’t you fill them with the young people from Italy, Greece, Portugal and other European countries, who are unemployed at the moment?”

Also see:

Arrests Show Jihadists Infiltrating Syrian Refugees

EU refugeesby Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
June 8, 2016

When Europe agreed to open its borders to Syrian refugees in response to one of the greatest humanitarian crises of our age, officials assured the Western world: we’ve got this. There will be no jihadists among them; and if there are, we’ll be sure they won’t get in.

But it wasn’t exactly true. Jihadists, we now know, have been among them. They have gotten through. And now those same officials are starting to admit things might get even worse.

On Saturday, only weeks after Germany’s national security agency confessed it had been alerted to the presence of jihadists who posed as asylum-seekers, German police arrested three Syrians on charges of planning a major attack in Dusseldorf. The arrests followed a confession by a fourth suspect, arrested earlier in France, who had informed officials there about the plot. All four suspects, reported the Washington Post, had traveled to Europe along the well-worn, so-called Balkan Route. Prosecutors say the attack aimed to kill “as many bystanders as possible with guns and other explosives,” as had a plot foiled days earlier in Antwerp.

Europeans already are on edge as a result of the multiple terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels over the past 18 months. But news of these arrests, coupled with heightened concerns among German intelligence officials, alarmed communities both in Germany and in neighboring countries. Yet despite this development, intelligence officials in the Netherlands, which shares a border with Germany, maintained until just last week that there is minimal chance that any asylum seeker there is a terrorist.

That changed suddenly on Tuesday, with the disclosure by the same French suspect that the militants arrested in Dusseldorf had been part of a group of 20, divided between asylum centers there and in the Dutch city of Nijmegen.

Not that this should be a surprise. Since the beginning of the crisis, Holland’s screening of migrants has been sloppy. A report released in May by Holland’s Ministry of Security and Justice noted that several screening centers were careless and inadequate, failing to meet established standards. Perhaps as a result of hastened procedural demands as the stream of refugees has increased, neither computer systems nor inspectors seems prepared to meet the challenges: as Dutch daily the Telegraaf observed, the system for checking fingerprints crashes daily; document screeners fail several times a week; and “it is unclear whether all baggage of the asylum-seekers is being properly inspected.”

Moreover, documents are rarely examined for authenticity – a risky oversight given the huge ISIS-based industry in falsified Syrian passports, a business which, in turn, helps fill Islamic State coffers. Indeed, one of the Paris bombers used such a passport to enter Europe, leading the former French intelligent chief to remark, “It’s obvious now: amongst the migrants, there are terrorists.”

These problems are not limited to Europe. In Canada, a $16 million effort to screen refugees was recently termed an “expensive security flop.” An internal evaluation of the effort, CBC News reported, determined that “the screening project delivered information too late, strayed beyond its mandate, and in the end did almost nothing to catch refugees who might be linked to criminal or terrorist groups.”

Such errors have not gone unnoticed by American intelligence. As early as November 2015, a Homeland Security report called Europe’s open borders a “cause célèbre for jihadists” and described Europe’s asylum and refugee screening processes as “rife with security holes.”

“Foreign officials in Western Europe … said that already some asylum seekers had been identified as having potential terrorism ties,” the report notes, “but by the time they were flagged the individuals had already left the area.” As a result, “Europe’s 26-country Schengen area is ground zero for the continent’s terrorist travel woes.”

True, the United States enjoys elements of security that Europe does not. While nationals and citizens of EU countries can travel to the U.S. visa-free, those who are also nationals or citizens of Syria, Iraq, Iran, or the Sudan can not. And all foreign visitors are required to register with the Homeland Security Department’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to arrival.

Still, even with such measures in place, the Homeland Security report recommended a temporary suspension of the Syrian refugee program in the U.S. “until the nation’s leading intelligence and law enforcement agencies can certify the refugee screening process is adequate to detect individuals with terrorist ties.” In January, however, Democratic senators blocked a bill that would do just that.

Now the country faces a crossroads. In the first half of 2016, only a fraction of the 9,000 refugees America agreed to take in this year had actually been accepted, in part, NBC News reported, because “a lack of preparedness for the sudden increase in refugee applicants and resources to vet them has led to backlogs in the process.” To rectify the situation, “the administration has begun to ramp up operations, both at home and abroad, to review a greater volume of refugee applicants and stay on track to meet its commitments.” Since then, the number of refugees approved for resettlement has increased markedly, to almost 5,000.

But at least as important as its commitments to refugees is America’s commitment to the safety and security of its own people. And if Europe’s example is anything to judge by – and Homeland Security agents seem to believe it is – then “ramping up operations” likely will put the country at an increased risk of terrorism. After all, if the U.S. suffered a “lack of preparedness and resources to vet” the refugees until now, it is hard to imagine that speeding the procedure would in any way benefit the nation’s security. And “haste,” as a Moroccan proverb says, “is the sister of repentance.”

We save no one, not even the refugees, from danger, if we only increase our own.

Abigail R. Esman is an award-winning freelance writer based in New York and Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with more than 20 years of experience writing for national and international magazines including Salon.com, Vogue, Esquire (Holland), Town & Country, Art & Auction (where she is a contributing editor), The Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, Artnews and others.

Europe Braces for More Jihadist Attacks

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, June 2, 2016:

  • Sports stadiums and big music events are especially vulnerable: “This is where you put a small town into a small area for a couple of hours.” — Neil Basu, deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, London.
  • “We know that the Islamic State has the European Championship in its sights.” — Hans-Georg Maaßen, head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency.
  • According to Patrick Calvar, head of the France’s domestic intelligence agency, at least 645 French nationals or residents, including 245 women, are currently with the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Another 200 individuals are “in transit,” either on their way to Syria or returning to France. Around 244 jihadists have already returned to France.
  • British police chiefs are struggling to recruit enough officers who are willing to carry a firearm, because many fear they will be treated as criminal suspects if they use their weapon in the line of duty.

European security officials are bracing for potential jihadist attacks at public venues across Europe this summer.

In France, officials are preparing for possible attacks against the European Football Championships. The games, which start on June 10, comprise 51 matches involving 24 teams playing in 10 host cities across the country.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that more than 90,000 security personnel will be on hand to protect the 2.5 million spectators expected to attend the games, as well as the hundreds of thousands more who will watch the matches on big screens in so-called “fan zones” in major cities.

Patrick Calvar, the head of the France’s domestic intelligence agency (Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure, DGSI), warned: “We know that the Islamic State is planning new attacks in France.” He added:

“We risk being confronted with a new form of attack: a terrorist campaign characterized by placing explosive devices in places where large crowds are gathered, and repeating this type of action to create a climate of panic.”

According to Calvar, at least 645 French nationals or residents, including 245 women, are currently with the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq. Another 200 individuals are “in transit,” either on their way to the Middle East or returning to France. Around 244 jihadists have already returned to France, and another 818 people have “demonstrated their intention to go to Syria.”

The Stade de France, located in a Paris suburb, was attacked by three Islamic State suicide bombers in November 2015. The stadium will be hosting games during the UEFA Euro 2016 football championships (June 10 – July 10, 2016), and French officials are preparing for possible jihadist attacks. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons/Liondartois)

Calvar’s concerns have been echoed by Hans-Georg Maaßen, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, BfV). In an interview with Rheinische Post, Maaßen said: “We know that the Islamic State has the European Championship in its sights.”

On May 29, British media quoted Belgian security sources as saying they had discovered an Islamic State plot to attack British football fans in the southern French city of Marseille when England plays Russia on June 11. The plans were reportedly discovered on a laptop used by Salah Abdeslam, a Belgian-born French national of Moroccan descent who is thought to be the mastermind of the November 2015 terrorist attacks on Paris which left 130 dead.

The laptop is said to have contained information about a plot to kill large numbers of British fans using assault rifles, suicide bombers and possibly even drones armed with chemical weapons. The laptop contained photos and references to Marseille’s historic Old Port, where tens of thousands of football fans are expected to gather at the many bars and restaurants in the area.

Meanwhile, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve also announced that more than 23,000 police will be deployed to protect the Tour de France, the world’s premier bicycle race, which takes place from July 2 to 24.

Read more

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. His first book, Global Fire, will be out in 2016.

Also see:

The terror group’s new focus on sporting events also raises domestic alarms. This year, the popular U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York coincides with the 9/11 anniversary.

Beyond Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State’s HR Files Illuminate Dangerous Trends

ISIS-SniperToday at War On The Rocks, Clint Watts does a very detailed analysis of global foreign jihadist recruitment patterns which provides a predictive tool for counterterrorism strategy. Here is his conclusion:

Over the past 30 years, foreign fighters have been the thread by which one can trace jihadi violence.  Committed, motivated survivors of each mobilization go on to power the next round of terrorism. Those foreign fighters that cannot or will not return home tend to join the most promising emerging affiliates abroad.  Arab foreign fighters showed up in Afghanistan during the 1980s, settled in Pakistan, Sudan, and Afghanistan, and later became the backbone of al Qaeda in the 1990s.  Last decade, boys from the Arabian Peninsula, alongside an upsurge of North African recruits, fought in Iraq and soon after powered terrorism across more than a half dozen terrorist affiliates, notably in Yemen and the Sahel.

Language, ethnicity, and marriage often dictate which foreign fighters congregate together as battlefields open and close. As seen in social media recruitment over the past five years, recruits are drawn to jihadi leaders that talk like them and look like them. On the battlefield, foreign fighters mingle with those whom they can communicate and identify with ethnically. French and Belgian recruits more often fall into the ranks with Moroccans, Algerian, and Tunisians.  Russian speakers from the Caucasus and Central Asia join forces, as those from the Balkans band together. Germans last decade, for some reason, surfaced more often in Afghanistan and Pakistan. British and American English-speaking Somalis showed up with converts to join al Shabaab in Somalia.  Foreign fighter patterns are complicated, but somewhat predictable. Examining facilitation pathways and these foreign fighter linkages will be essential for anticipating the next wave of violence.

The trends revealed in the new Islamic State records alongside lessons learned from past foreign fighter migrations point to several actions Western powers should consider to preempt the next wave of violence stemming from the Islamic State’s survivors.  First, as seen by Tunisia’s massive supply of fighters, the West should move aggressively to disrupt terrorist facilitators. If left unattended, they’ll only fuel other jihadi pipelines as battlefields emerge.  Second, closely track surviving European foreign fighters, many of whom are unable to return home as the Islamic State falters in Iraq and Syria.  Where these trained, experienced, and committed European foreign fighters choose to migrate will prove a strong signal of where violent jihad will march next. This will also point to impending threats to European countries as their angry youth, as seen in Brussels and Paris, turn their guns on their homelands. Third, Western powers should determine whether Central Asian foreign fighters, along with Russians and Chinese, will band together as Syria closes.  Regionally, Central Asia, after Europe, showed the second highest increase in recruitment rates this decade.  Chinese and Russian foreign fighter migration stems not only from the opportunities of Syria, but because they’ve been squelched at home.  Should Russian and Chinese fighters, who together comprise 10 percent of the recent Islamic State sample, join with their Central Asian comrades, they will become a formidable, veteran contingent that may power an Asian terrorist group in the coming years. Finally, properly assessing where European and Central Asian survivors of the Islamic State coalesce requires an equal assessment of the opportunities available to them, namely what affiliates and regions offer the best chances of survival, regeneration, jihadi glory and prosperity. Recent foreign fighter records show the ingredients for the next round of jihad, affiliates will supply the recipe.

 Read it all

Clint Watts is a Fox Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at The George Washington University. Prior to his current work as a security consultant, Clint served as a U.S. Army infantry officer, a FBI Special Agent on a Joint Terrorism Task Force, and as the Executive Officer of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.

Antwerp Terror Arrests Underscore Growing Threat to Europe and America

Belgium mapby Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
June 1, 2016

Last Wednesday, just two years and a day after the deadly terrorist attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels, and barely more than two months after the twin attacks on the Brussels airport and metro, Belgian police arrested a group of Muslim youth planning yet another attack, this time in Antwerp. Aiming “to kill as many kufar,” or non-Muslims, as possible, the group is believed to have been planning to bomb Antwerp’s Central Station. The group also is believed to have made previous plans to assassinate right-wing politician Filip Dewinter, the leader of the Vlaams Belang party. Those plans were put on hold, however, in favor of a larger-scale attack.

The suspects were members of a group of radicalized Muslim teens believed to have kept contact with Antwerp native Hicham Chaib, who is now a high-ranking leader of the Islamic State. It was Chaib who informed the public that the March 22 attacks on Belgium’s Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station “were just a taste of what’s to come.” And it is Chaib, the former second-in-command of Shariah4Belgium who left Antwerp for Syria in 2012, who now actively recruits other Antwerp-based youth to join ISIS or to execute terrorist attacks in their homeland.

The four arrests followed a series of raids by Antwerp police into the homes of several suspects in the Borgerhout district. Two suspects have been released, but other members of the group, some arrested previously, remain in custody. All suspects are said to be between the ages of 16 and 19, confirming earlier Dutch reports that European Muslims under the age of 20 are increasingly becoming involved in Islamic State activities and jihadist plots.

According to some accounts, the Antwerp group is comprised of nine youths, at least five of whom are minors. At least two members tried to join the Islamic State in Raqqa in March, but were stopped by officials en route and sent back to Belgium.

With security and counter-terror investigations heightened in Brussels after the March 22 attacks there, it is unsurprising that jihadists might be moving their activities and focus to nearby Antwerp. The city has a long history of Muslim unrest, with riots as early as 2002 and the founding, by Hizballah-linked Lebanese immigrant Dyab Abou Jahjah, of the Arab European League (AEL) in 2000. An organization with pan-Arab aspirations, the AEL aimed to create what Jahjah called a “sharocracy” – a kind of combination of democracy and sharia – that would eventually become European law.

More recently, Antwerp native Fouad Belkacem founded the notorious Sharia4Belgium, alleged to have organized most of the recruiting for ISIS in Belgium, with some outreach to neighboring countries such as France and The Netherlands. And, of the estimated 500 Belgian Muslims who have joined terrorist groups in Syria, more than 100 come from Antwerp.

But the indication of heightened new activity in Antwerp also suggests possible changes in strategy for Europe-based jihadists and recruiters. While French-speaking Brussels maintains close ties to France (several of the terrorists involved in the two attacks in Paris last year were based or were born in Brussels), Flemish-speaking Antwerp holds a stronger relationship to The Nethrlands. Antwerp is also a mere 30 minutes from Rotterdam by high-speed train, offering easy access to Europe’s largest and busiest port. The Rotterdam Port is also the launching point for the vast majority of European exports to America, Europe’s largest external trading partner.

This matters. According to the National Institute of Justice, “Few would dispute that, if terrorists used a cargo container to conceal a weapon of mass destruction and detonated it on arrival at a U.S. port, the impact on global trade and the world economy could be immediate and devastating.” And the New York Times further observed, “The cargo containers arriving on ships from foreign ports offer terrorists a Trojan horse for a devastating attack on the United States. As the Harvard political scientist Graham T. Allison has put it, a nuclear attack is ‘far more likely to arrive in a cargo container than on the tip of a missile.'”

The good news, however, is that The Netherlands’ intelligence and counter-terrorism agencies are well-recognized for their research, acuity, and effectiveness. And Rotterdam takes an especially hard line on Islamic extremism: its Essalam Mosque, Holland’s largest, served as the site for anti-extremist protests. Last year, the mosquedismissed all foreign Arabs from its board of directors. And following the January 2015 attacks in Paris, Ahmed Aboutaleb, Rotterdam’s Muslim mayor, famously invited any Dutch Muslim wishing to join the jihad in Syria to make the trip and never try to return. More, his fierce response to youth who dislike Dutch values was even more direct: he told them to “f*** off.”

Perhaps, then, even as these latest arrests demonstrate just how much Europe’s radical Muslim problem threatens to become America’s radical Muslim problem, we should consider making some of Europe’s more radical solutions America’s solutions, too.

Abigail R. Esman is an award-winning freelance writer based in New York and Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with more than 20 years of experience writing for national and international magazines including Salon.com, Vogue, Esquire (Holland), Town & Country, Art & Auction (where she is a contributing editor), The Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, Artnews and others.

Conspiracy Theorists Could Be Forgiven

Migrants cross from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos (Photo: Video screenshot)

Migrants cross from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos (Photo: Video screenshot)

Rather than stopping the flow of migrants, the recent deal Europe made with Turkey made immigration official. Yet, these deals are being negotiated by unelected European officials with no electoral mandate.

Clarion Project, by Leslie Shaw, April 27 2016:

The Europeans are incapable of negotiating their way out of a paper bag.

In October 2015, they handed Turkey $3.4 billion to stop the flow of refugees into Greece. The flow continued. Six months later, in March 2016, Turkey was demanding another $3.4 billion plus visa-free travel to Europe for Turks and accellerated negotiations for membership of the European Union.

Rather than stopping the flow of migrants, the deal made it official. Europe agreed to accept one legal migrant for every illegal migrant sent back to Turkey.

With its radical Islamic government negotiating this deal, Turkey has demonstrated it is not part of the solution but part of the problem.

Now Libya wants to jump on the European gravy train.

On April 23, 2016, after a meeting in Rome with Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, Libyan Vice President Ahmed Maiteeq stated that his country wants to negotiate a deal with Europe similar to that obtained by Turkey.

He is obviously surfing on the outpouring of humanitarian angst after 500 illegal migrants were drowned in the Mediterranean in a boat that people traffickers had sent from the Libyan port of Tobruk.

Maiteeq was originally elected as prime minister of Libya in 2014 under curious circumstances. On the first day of voting, gunmen opened fire in the parliament. The final vote was tainted with irregularities and on  June 9, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled his election was invalid.

Not someone you would want to negotiate a deal with.

On the European side, these deals are being negotiated by unelected officials with no electoral mandate. The people of Europe are thus being ignored. Conspiracy theorists could be forgiven for claiming this is part of a sinster master plan. In fact, they may be right.

On June 21, 2012, former European Commissioner Peter Sutherland said this in a speech to the British House of Lords :

“The United States, or Australia and New Zealand, are migrant societies, and therefore they accommodate more readily those from other backgrounds than we do ourselves, who still nurse a sense of our homogeneity and difference from others. And that’s precisely what the European Union, in my view, should be doing its best to undermine… Anybody who thinks that by erecting borders or fences in some way a particular state can be protected from alleged ‘floods’ of migrants is living in cloud cuckoo land.”

Sutherland is a former attorney-general of Ireland, former Chairman of BP, non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International, head of the UN Global Forum on Migration and Development and could be described as the ‘’godfather of globalization.’’

What has been happening to Europe over the past 15 months may well be nothing other than a deliberate strategy to undermine — that is, to destroy — the nation-states of Europe, from Greece to Ireland and from Spain to Finland.

In 1973, Sutherland was a candidate in the Irish general election in Dublin North West constituency, but only 1,968 people voted for him — 6.24% of the poll. This probably accounts for his hatred of democracy as well as his contempt for ordinary British citizens, whom he considers “racist and xenophobic.”

He has no political mandate but has been instrumental in shaping the economic and social future of Europe. An advocate of mass immigration, he believes the European Union should “begin weaving together the two sides of the Mediterranean.”

The results of this policy are literally blowing up in the faces of European citizens in the form of suicide vests and suitcase bombs.

***

Also see:

Hungary’s constitution ‘bans Islamisation and forces its government to oppose mass migration to protect our culture’ declares country’s prime minister

  • Viktor Orban said that ‘Islamisation is constitutionally banned in Hungary’
  • Remark made at event marking anniversary of Hungary’s new constitution
  • Hungary maintains that migrant issue is a matter of national sovereignty

Tracing the path of four terrorists sent to Europe by the Islamic State

Washington Post, b April 22, 2016: (with video)

On a crisp morning last October, 198 migrants arrived on the Greek island of Leros, all of them seemingly desperate people seeking sanctuary in Europe. But hiding among them were four men with a very different agenda.

The four were posing as war-weary Syrians — all carrying doctored passports with false identities. And they were on a deadly mission for the Islamic State.

Two of the four would masquerade as migrants all the way to Paris. There, at 9:20 p.m. on Nov. 13, they would detonate suicide vests near the Stade de France sports complex, fulfilling their part in the worst attack on French soil since World War II.

The other two men would not make it that far.

Stopped upon arrival in Greece for lying about their identities, they were delayed — but only for a few weeks before being granted permission to continue their journey deeper into Europe. Their story — including key details never before disclosed — offers a cautionary tale for a continent suddenly facing its worst security threat since the end of the Cold War. The men’s journey from the battlefields of Syria was reconstructed through interviews with intelligence officials and from French investigative documents obtained by The Washington Post, as well as an interview with an Islamic State commander.

IS path in Europe

European security officials say they think that the Islamic State has seeded terrorist cells on the continent over the past year and was able to do so in part because the European Union failed to come to grips with a migrant crisis that opened a funnel for the militant group.

Europe is now working with Turkey to bar its doors, ending the waves of irregular migration that washed over the continent last year. But more than a million migrants — a record — have already entered. Hundreds of thousands of them, European intelligence agencies say, may have done so without thorough checks at their entry point: Greece.

The vast majority of migrants were genuinely fleeing war and poverty. But over the past six months, more than three dozen suspected militants who impersonated migrants have been arrested or died while planning or carrying out acts of terrorism. They include at least seven directly tied to the bloody attacks in Paris and Brussels.

The Islamic State is gloating that they have far more lying in wait.

“We have sent many operatives to Europe with the refugees,” an Islamic State commander said in an interview over an encrypted data service. “Some of our brothers have fulfilled their mission, but others are still waiting to be activated.”

The accounts of the two men who landed in Leros with plans to die in France, only to stop short of their goal, expose the weaknesses in a haphazard system that has created risks of unknown dimensions.

TOP: Islamic State militants Adel Haddadi, left, an Algerian, and Mohamed Usman, a Pakistani,hoped to join the Paris attacks and entered the European Union pretending to be Syrian migrants, according to authorities. BOTTOM: Two unidentified Iraqi men who detonated suicide vests at the Stade de France sports complex in Paris on Nov. 13.

TOP: Islamic State militants Adel Haddadi, left, an Algerian, and Mohamed Usman, a Pakistani,hoped to join the Paris attacks and entered the European Union pretending to be Syrian migrants, according to authorities. BOTTOM: Two unidentified Iraqi men who detonated suicide vests at the Stade de France sports complex in Paris on Nov. 13.

“The Greeks failed in protecting the borders into the E.U.,” said a senior European intelligence official who, along with 11 other senior European, U.S. and Arab officials interviewed for this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss classified information.

He added, “And we all failed by not pushing hard enough to establish that security.”

Overwhelming the Greeks

In early September, just a few weeks before the four men landed on Leros, they were invited to attend a secret meeting in a central Syrian city controlled by the Islamic State.

Two of them — the ones who would blow themselves up outside the Stade de France — were later glorified in an Islamic State video as unnamed militants from Iraq. The other two men, both round-faced and lightly bearded, were Mohamed Usman, a Pakistani who claims to be 23 years old, and Adel Haddadi, a 28-year-old Algerian.

Usman and Haddadi had joined the Islamic State in 2014, the men would tell European investigators. In Syria, they received extensive training with automatic weapons, but neither was a stranger to extremism.

Haddadi had previously been on the watch lists of Algerian intelligence for his activities; Usman was suspected of links to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a radical Pakistani terrorist group tied to the 2008 siege of Mumbai, according to two senior European security officials.

That September meeting in Syria would prove fateful to their futures. In the living room of a home, according to their accounts, a senior Islamic State official told them that the time had come to leave the caliphate.

Also see:

How Radicalization Was Allowed to Fester in Belgium

belgiumby Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
April 19, 2016

These are the numbers, the hard facts: Twenty months. Three terrorist attacks. One hundred seventy dead. And almost all the killers grew up in or at one time lived in Belgium.

Squeezed into a corner bounded by France, Germany and the Netherlands, tiny Belgium has produced more jihadists than any other Western country (relative to its population) since 9/11. The most recent attacks, at the Brussels Maalbeek metro station and Zaventem Airport on March 22, killed at least 32 people and wounded dozens more. On Nov. 13, gunmen from the Brussels district of Molenbeek killed 130 men and women in Paris at a soccer stadium, a restaurant, and concert hall. And in May 2014, Mehdi Nemmouche, a returnee from Syria, shot and killed four people at the entrance to Brussels’ Jewish Museum. Since then, the media has been filled with reports on Belgium as a “new hotbed of terrorism,” while politicians have looked at one another blankly, asking “why?”

But the other hard fact is that there is nothing especially new about any of this. Belgium has been a center for Islamic terrorism for more than 20 years, most notably in the aftermath of a series of 1995 and 1998 bombings in France. Those attacks, which targeted, among others, the Paris Metro and the Arc de Triomphe, were committed by the Armed Islamic Group, or GIA, an Algerian militant group affiliated with al-Qaida, many of whose members lived in Belgium.

Indeed, most of the earlier Islamist terror attacks in Belgium and France were committed by Algerian GIA members, including Farid Melouk, who plotted, among other targets, to bomb the 1998 Paris World Cup. Sentenced to nine years in 1998 for his involvement in terrorism, Melouk is believed to have known and influenced Chérif Kouachi, one of the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris last January.

Only later, with the growth of al-Qaida after 9/11, did recruiters turn more to Moroccan immigrants like Abdelhamid Abbaoud, the mastermind of the Nov. 13 strikes, andKhalid Zerkani, believed to have served as a mentor to the current generation of Belgian jihadists.

But not all these 1990s jihadists were strictly GIA: in the aftermath of the 1995 Paris attacks, for instance, during a raid on the home of one Belgian GIA member, policediscovered among the weapons a “training manual,” dedicated to Osama bin Laden. There have also been reports of computer disks containing al-Qaida manuals found in Belgium around this time, but they remain unconfirmed.

But most notable is a report that Belgium repeatedly did little to combat the threat. Rather, according to journalist Paul Belien, Belgian authorities “made a deal with the GIA terrorists, agreeing to turn a blind eye to conspiracies hatched on Belgian soil in exchange for immunity from attack.”

If the deal was real, it did nothing to protect Belgian Muslims from radicalization. Those include converts like Muriel Degauque, who in 2005 earned the dubious distinction of being Belgium’s first female suicide bomber when she blew herself up in Baghdad, killing five.

Moreover, the radicalization of Belgian Muslims has become nearly a local institution, through national political groups like Sharia4Belgium and, previously, the Arab European League (AEL). Founded In 2000 by Lebanese immigrant Dyab Abou Jahjah, the AEL spread briefly beyond Belgium to France and the Netherlands before eventually petering out around 2006. But in its short life, it stirred pro-Islamist sentiment among many Belgian Muslim youth, helping to pave the way for Sharia4Belgium, and its recruiting of warriors for ISIS.

Alongside both of these movements has been the one-man operation of Khalid Zerkani, who is known to his followers as “The Santa Claus of jihad,” the New York Times reports. Zerkani, Belgian federal prosecutor Bernard Michel told the Times, “has perverted an entire generation of youngsters,” including various Molenbeek residents who were involved in the Zaventem killings, and Abdelhamid Abbaaoud, the Paris attack leader. Other Zerkani disciples have joined the Islamic State in Syria. On April 14, Zerkani, who was arrested in 2014, was sentenced to 15 years in Belgian prison for jihad recruiting. But – despite ongoing arrests in Molenbeek and other regions throughout Belgium – his influence, like that of Sharia4Belgium and the relics of Belgium’s terrorist past, continues to walk free on Europe’s streets.

Timeline of Jihadist Events in Belgium

1990s – Armed Islamic Group (GIA), an Algerian terrorist group, forms cells in Belgium and France.

1995

July 25 – GIA sets off bombs at the Saint-Michel station of Paris RER, killing eight and wounding 80

August 17 – bombs set by GIA at the Arc de Triomphe wound 17

August 26 – GIA bomb found on railroad tracks near Lyon

September 3– car bomb at Lyon Jewish school wounds 14

October 6– explosion in Paris Metro wounds 13

October 17– gas bottle explodes between Musee d’Orsay and Notre Dame stations of Paris metro, wounding 29

1998

March 6 – Belgian officials storm a Brussels residence, arresting Farid Melouk, suspected leader of Belgian GIA and organizer of Paris attacks.

Six other GIA operatives are also arrested, all linked to various Paris bombings.

March 22 – Belgian police uncover GIA plot to bomb the World Cup soccer event in France that June. During a raid in Brussels, police uncover explosives, detonators, Kalashnikovs, and thousands of dollars in cash. Again, Farid Melouk is believed to be associated.

May 26 – Police raid homes in Brussels and Charleroi based on evidence found in a GIA safe house in Brussels earlier. Ten people are detained.

1999

May 15 – Farid Melouk sentenced to nine years in Brussels court.

2000

February – Dyab Abou Jahjah establishes the Arab-European League in Antwerp, declaring that “assimilation is cultural rape,” and calling for Islamic schools, Arab-language education, and recognition of Islamic holidays. His goal is to create what he calls a “sharocracy” – a sharia-based democracy.

2001

September 11 – Al-Qaida hijackers plow commercial jets into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; a fourth jet, believed to be headed for the White House, is downed by passengers who overtake control. About 3,000 people are killed. The event marks a turning point for Muslim extremism and the rise of Muslim terrorism throughout the West.

September 13 – Nizar Trabelsi, a Tunisian, is arrested in Belgium and charged with plans to bomb a US-NATO military base.

September 30 – Sixteen additional suspects are also arrested in what prosecutors call a “spider’s web of radicals.”

2003

October 1 – Belgian courts convict 18 accused terrorists with suspected ties to al-Qaida, including Trabelsi, who receives a 10-year sentence.

2005

November 9 – Muriel Degauque, a Belgian convert, blows herself up in Baghdad near a group of policemen, killing five.

2009

December – After uncovering believable plans for an attack in Belgium, Antwerp police arrest 10 men, charging them with membership in a terrorist organization. Most members of the alleged terror cell are believed to live in Antwerp. Some are Dutch nationals.

2010

March – Fouad Belkacem establishes Sharia4Belgium.

November – Belgian officials arrest 10 members of a local terrorist cell suspected of planning attacks locally. Counterterrorism officials admit they are facing growing radicalization among the country’s Muslim youth, in part through the work of Sharia4Belgium, which seeks to transform Belgium into an Islamic state.

2012

September 15 – 230 radicalized Muslim members of Sharia4Belgium are arrested during anti-American riots in protest against the film “Innocence of Muslims.” In 2015, officials would discover that 70 of those arrested had joined the jihad in Syria. “The list [of those arrested then] reads today like a passenger list for the Syria-Express,” one investigator told Dutch TV program Een Vandaag.

2013

October 3 – Nizar Trabelsi, having served out his term in the 2001 bombing plot , is extradited to the United States. He is charged “with conspiracy to kill U.S Nationals outside of the United States; conspiracy and attempt to use weapons of mass destruction” and providing material support to terrorists.

2015

January 7-9 – In Paris, a rash of terrorist attacks take the lives of 17 people, including most of the staff of controversial satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and four Jews at a kosher market outside the city. Cherif Kouachi, responsible for the Charlie Hebdokillings, had had earlier contact with Farid Melouk. The attackers all claim to be sworn to the Islamic State.

November 13 – Further terrorist attacks in Paris – at the Stade de France stadium, Bataclan concert hall, and several restaurants – kill 130 people and injure more than 350. Most of the perpetrators come from (or have lived in) the Molenbeek region of Brussels, including suspected ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud. Abaaoud is also suspected of having been radicalized by Zerkani. ISIS claims responsibility.

November 14-early 2016 – ongoing arrests and investigations in Molenbeek lead to several additional arrests.

2016

March 15 – Police sweep down on a residence in Vorst, a section of Brussels, arresting four suspects believed to be planning an attack. A fifth, Algerian Mohamed Melkaid, is shot and killed while firing his Kalashnikov at the police. An ISIS flag is found at the scene.

March 18 – Saleh Abdeslam, the sole surviving member of the terrorist team that attacked Paris in November, is arrested in Molenbeek following a shootout. Evidence found in the house in Vorst helped lead them to Abdeslam, who had been in hiding for 120 days, mostly in plain sight in Molenbeek.

His arrest leads to riots among Muslim youth in the district.

March 22 – Coordinated attacks at Brussels-Zaventem airport and the Brussels Maarbeek metro stop kill 32. Two of the suicide bombers, brothers Khalid and Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, had been involved in planning the November Paris attacks; a third, Najim Laachraoui, is suspected as having made the bombs for both Paris and Brussels attacks. Laachraoui is also suspected of having had connections with Melkaid.

March 23-ongoing – Belgian and French police and counterterrorism forces continue to arrest terrorist suspects connected to either the Paris or Brussels attacks, all of them linked with Belgium-based terror cells. One suspect, Osama Krayem (aka Naim Hamed), a Swedish national, admits having backed out of plans to bomb a second metro station, and agrees to cooperate with Brussels police.

April 14 – Kahlid Zerkani receives the maximum 15-year sentence in Brussels courts. The sentence, delivered on appeal, is an increase over the previous sentence of 12 years.

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.