Violent Jihad

Belgian Police Dropped Probe into Paris Attackers

Police described the brothers as priority suspects, could not get the resources to follow up.

BY CounterJihad · @CounterjihadUS | May 3, 2016

It is the latest example of the “known wolf” phenomenon.  Police in Belgium knew that two brothers involved in the Paris attacks were planning an “irreversable act” since 2014.  A classified report obtained by POLITICO shows that the names of both brothers, Brahim Abdeslam and Salah Abdeslam, were already in police databases when police obtained the 2014 report of their planning a suicide attack.  Brahim Abdeslam would go on to blow himself up with a suicide belt in a crowded French restaurant.

By miracle, he managed only to kill himself in the ensuing explosion.  Note that the following footage does show the detonation.  Watch with discretion.

Salah Abdeslam survived the Paris attacks and fled home to Brussels, where he was able to hide from police for months although they already knew his name, the fact that he had been planning a terror attack, that his brother had just died in a terror attack, and where he lived. As the Soufan Group points out, he was able to hide within Brussels itself.  After the Paris attacks, he simply went home to his neighborhood, where tight-knit family and Muslim connections shielded him from any contact with police.

This report raises new questions about just how that was possible.  It appears that the police in Belgium were not given basic resources necessary for taking the threat of radical Islamic terrorism seriously.  Even things like wire taps were apparently beyond their capacity:

In addition authorities held computers, USB sticks and telephone data involving the Abdeslam brothers since February 2015, but that information was not used “not even after Paris, or very recently.”  In early 2015 the brothers were questioned on suspicion of planning to travel to Syria. At that point prosecutors sought backing for phone taps from police units other than the anti-terror one, having already been turned down by them because of a lack of resources.  That second request was also turned down and on 21 April last year the police decided the brothers’ file did not need following up.

The report highlights the degree to which security services in Europe are behind the ball where Islamic terrorism is concerned.  Salah Abdeslam did not simply go home and live peacefully, after all.  He went home and coordinated a second set of terror attacks.  It was his arrest that triggered a rushed attack in Brussels, as his co-conspirators sped to carry off the damage they could before the police caught up with them.

It appears they need not have worried.  Belgian police were apparently in no rush to follow up their leads on radical Muslim terror cells, nor did their government feel the need to give them the resources to do so anyway.



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