Details are sketchy, but the death toll continues to rise, with CNN reporting at least 23 dead. The attacks took place during Tuesday morning rush hour in the Belgian city, targeting the airport and a Brussels metro station by the administrative buildings of the European Union.
“It was atrocious. The ceilings collapsed,” one man in Brussels Airport told Associated Press. “There was blood everywhere, injured people, bags everywhere.
“We were walking in the debris. It was a war scene,” he added.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 22, 2016
In the wake of that, I’d like to ask you a question that may seem totally unrelated: Do you know where Molenbeek is?
If the answer is no, don’t worry. You will.
Molenbeek is a neighborhood of Brussels that is up to 40 percent Muslim and has chronically high unemployment. It also has links to almost every major terror attack in Western Europe since the 1990s, including November’s Paris terror attacks.
It’s also where terror suspect Salah Abdeslam and another man were arrested after a gunfight with Belgian authorities four days ago.
But don’t believe me, an American conservative. Let’s hear from Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.
“There is almost always a link with Molenbeek. That’s a gigantic problem of course,” Michel said after the Paris attacks.
Michel said that he had “already taken a number of initiatives at the preventive level. But in addition, there needs to be more repression. We’re going to work hard on that.”
The Washington Post described Molenbeek as such in a piece written just after the Paris terror attacks: “It has a busy commercial street, alluring pastry shops, dilapidated car repair joints and corner cafes where, on Sunday, men (and only men) watched a soccer game on large-screen televisions while sipping tea and coffee.” (Emphasis ours.)
The terror links in Molenbeek go deeper than just culturally enforced Shariah, though. The Paris terror attacks in November were planned from there, as were the January Charlie Hebdo attacks.
Sharia4Belgium, a terrorist group which recruited and sent Belgians to fight in Syria, also had deep roots in Molenbeek. According to Flanders News, they were even behind a 2012 Muslim riot in the neighborhood.
Thanks to the European Union’s Schengen Agreement, which mandates open borders with little to no crossing control, terrorists in Belgium can enter or leave the country whenever they feel like. Makes you feel safe, doesn’t it?
It’s unknown whether there were any links to Molenbeek in Tuesday morning’s attacks. However, it wouldn’t surprise anybody. After all, this tiny Belgian city within a city has become the capital of European terror.
Remember the name. You will doubtlessly hear it again.
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