The triggering factors of jihadist radicalisation in Belgium

23 March 2016

EFD Senior Fellow Valentina Colombo comments on the terrorist attacks that occurred in Brussels on 22nd March, analysing the political and social factors that lay behind them.

It seems as though the capture of Salah Abdeslam, albeit not a direct cause of the terrorist attacks, accelerated something which had already been planned.
With this attack, she also explains, the notorious neighbourhood of Molenbeek, where Abdeslam was captured, proves once again to be a safe haven for many terrorists, both to and from the Caliphate.

Colombo also points out an interesting comparison between Tunisia and Belgium, highlighting that both these countries have a very elevated percentage of foreign fighters and both have been meeting points for various jihadist groups.

Cases like those of Molenbeek or the French banlieues prove that being secluded by society and feeling a sense of abandonment, if combined with what the Saudi intellectual Turki al-Hamad calls "an overdose of religion", can lead to a severe reaction by some individuals, including an affiliation to a jihadist ideology.
In light of the Paris and Belgium attacks, Valentina Colombo says that the West should review its integration policies, since they have so obviously been failing.

The article is in Italian and can be read here