Belgians returning from jihad in Iraq and Syria will be detained in the future, Prime Minister Charles Michel has announced.
Michel also told parliament in Brussels that his government would budget an additional €400 million for security spending after Belgian nationals were identified as suspects in Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.
It was not, of course, just Paris this weekend: Beirut also felt the murderous strategy of militant Islam. For those who are attuned to ignoring the developing world, the attacks in Paris were shocking, confusing and subject to simplistic explanation: they hate us, they hate freedom, they want Sharia, etc., etc.
But when it comes to organizations training, supplying and directing acts of terrorism, hate and religion are not the explanations we seek. Organizations, like nation states, are neither suicidal nor nihilistic: they seek to empower themselves and gain security through whatever means are available to them.
When terrorists strike, hawks always say it is our freedom and our democracy they despise.
This weekend was no different. After more than 130 people were killed in terrorist attacks across Paris, the Front national in France itself, the right-wing press in the United Kingdom and Republicans in the United States all gave the same explanation: The terrorists struck because they hate us for who we are.
It is not always that simple. But they are not altogether wrong either.
Guards at the Stade de France in northern Paris stopped a suicide bomber entering the stadium on Friday when tens of thousands of spectators, including the French president, François Hollande, were watching a friendly football match between the national terms of France and Germany.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the attacker was discovered wearing an explosive vest when he was frisked at the entrance to the stadium about fifteen minutes into the game. While backing away from security, he blew himself up.
French president François Hollande declared a national state of emergency on Friday night after a series of what he described as “unprecedented terrorist attacks” in Paris left dozens dead.
The president, who himself was rushed away from a football match in the north of Paris when explosions were heard outside the stadium, also ordered the country’s borders closed and deployed the army to aid police in the capital.
“We know where the threat is coming from,” he said in a televised address. “We know who the terrorists are.”
Police said there had been two suicide attacks and one bombing outside the Stade de France.
Friday’s foiled terror attack on the high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris is no reason to reinstate border controls in Europe. The freedom of movement is one of the European Union’s greatest accomplishments and one that most directly benefits its citizens.
One person was killed and three police officers wounded in a shooting in Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, on Saturday at a meeting attended by the Swedish artist Lars Vilks.
Vilks, who was unharmed, stirred controversy in 2007 when he published drawings that depicted the Muslim Prophet Muhammad as a dog. He has received numerous death threats and lived under constant protection since 2010.
Danish police said they thought the suspect might have fled by train. A car the shooter first used to flee the crime scene was found abandoned.