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Europe Needs To Get Serious About Radical Islam


The latest news out of Brussels shows that Europe is not prepared to deal with radical Islam in its cities or ISIS cells across the continent. It also shows that to stop radical Islamic terrorism, Europeans will have to confront the contradictions at the heart of the European project.

The reported failures of Belgium’s intelligence agencies to date have been appalling. But given the country’s byzantine legal system and lax security, they have hardly been surprising. The latest news, however, is shocking. It appears the Brussels attacks might have been carried out by the same ISIS cell that struck Paris in November.

A Belgian judge in charge of the investigation into the Paris attacks issued an arrest warrant in December for Khalid el-Bakraoui, who blew himself up at a subway station near EU headquarters on Tuesday. Another man, Najim Laachraoui, may have built the explosive vests used last year in Paris. He was the second man who blew himself up Tuesday at the Brussels airport.

This news comes with the revelation that el-Bakraoui’s brother, Ibrahim, who also blew himself up at the airport, was detained in Turkey last summer and deported to the Netherlands with a warning to Belgian officials that he was a foreign terrorist fighter. Belgium did nothing, and allowed him back into the country. On Thursday, Koen Geens, Belgium’s justice minister, told reporters he had no idea that el-Bakraoui had been deported by Turkey.

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