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November 27, 2015 / 15 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Belgium’

Subways, Schools Closed as Terrorized Brussels Remains in Lockdown

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Mass transit in the subway system will remain shut down in the Belgian capital on Monday, as the city of Brussels remains at its highest alert.

Schools are also closed in the city due to the “serious and imminent” threat of a coordinated terrorist threat similar to that which took place in Paris just over a week ago.

Security officials have also recommended that sports events be canceled and shopping malls and commercial centers be closed as well.

Prime Minister Charles Michel, who chaired a national security council meeting on Sunday, told reporters at a news conference, “We fear an attack like that in Paris, with several individuals, with arms and explosives could launch an attack … perhaps even in several places.”

The city is home to more than one million residents, who have all been urged to avoid venues where crowds may gather – in short, most places in the European capital.

Nevertheless, the prime minister also asked Belgians to remain calm. “We urge the public not to give in to panic, to stay calm. We have taken the measures that are necessary,” he said.

Brussels is home to the headquarters for the European Union, for NATO and for a host of smaller international organizations as well.

Security has been ramped up for all of these offices. It is not clear, however, whether extra protection has also been assigned to the Belgium national Jewish museum in Brussels, the first site to be attacked by Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists in the city last year.

Museum officials had to beg the government for upgraded security protection prior to the re-opening of the facility; even then, it was never entirely clear whether the museum actually received the assistance it requested.

Numerous other sites around the city are reportedly receiving protection, however. Nevertheless, officials are edgy since finding out Brussels is at the center of a terror plot to strike numerous targets.

Several suspects were arrested in raids across the country following the Paris attacks on November 13, but more are free, highlighting the urgency of tracking the terrorists down.

Salah Abdeslam, 26, is one of the fugitives from the Paris attacks who is the subject of an intense manhunt in Belgium. A citizen of France, Abdeslam arrived in Belgium, where he once lived, in a car from France the morning after the attacks. Although he was questioned three times by authorities, he was apparently allowed to pass, and simply disappeared.

His brother Ibrahim Abdeslam, also a former resident of Belgium, committed suicide during the Paris attacks; he was one of the seven terrorists killed in the massacre either through suicide or shot by police. Another terrorist who was a former Belgian resident, Bilal Hadfi, was also among those killed.

Belgian citizen Abdelhamid Aba’aoud, 28, was suspected to have been the ringleader of the Paris attacks. He was killed in a police raid last Wednesday along with two accomplices in a northern Paris suburb, French officials said.

At least 130 people died and more than 350 were wounded in the Paris massacre.

Fears of Imminent Paris-like Attack in Brussels

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel announced on Sunday, Nov. 22, that his nation’s capital remains in a state of emergency and all schools and the entire subway system will remain closed on Monday, Nov. 23.

Brussels is maintaining the highest terror alert for a “serious and imminent” threat.

Michel announced that there is intelligence warning of an attack on Brussels, “perhaps at several locations.” Authorities in Brussels are braced for an attack similar to the one in Paris on Nov. 13.

The Belgian government has already taken the following measures, following last week’s terrorist attacks: increased police and military presence on public transport; increased police and military capacity; a general reduction in major events that would normally attract large numbers of people; and the installation of a number for obtaining information.

Brussels Shuts Down Metro, Goes To High Alert in Fear of Terror

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

Brussels has been placed on maximum alert due to concrete threats pointing to a strong risk of an attack “along the lines of what took place in Paris,” Prime Minister Charles Michel told a news conference on Saturday.

Numerous “high-value target” institutions in the Belgian capital are being guarded by soldiers; these include buildings belonging to the European Union and NATO, both of which are headquartered in the city.

It is not known whether Jewish institutions are among the protected, or if so, which ones are the privileged. In 2014 the city’s Jewish Museum, targeted by radical Islamist terrorists a year ago, was forced to beg the government for upgraded protection after the massacre.

Brussels was placed at the government’s maximum level four on its threat scale after a security council meeting of top ministers, police and security services held on Saturday.

The public metro was closed down and people were warned to avoid crowds due to a “serious and imminent” threat of “coordinated, multiple attacks” by terrorists.

American citizens were warned by the U.S. Embassy to “shelter in place and remain at home… If you must go out, avoid large crowds,” the embassy said in a statement Saturday on its website.

Another government situation review is slated for Sunday afternoon. But until then, the metro system is closed, and although shopping centers and smaller shops opened briefly on Saturday, by midday they too had shut their doors.

Meanwhile, suspected fugitive terrorist Salah Abdeslam, 26, has arrived home to Brussels from Paris, and fear of the Da’esh terrorist has inspired Brussels sports authorities to postpone weekend games in two professional divisions.

The Belgian Interior Minister told reporters he wants a register of everyone living in Molenbeek, a neighborhood in Brussels, since it is still not clear who is living there and who is not.

Authorities are now conducting door-to-door checks of every house in Molenbeek. Abdeslam is from that neighborhood, as was the Da’esh (ISIS) mastermind of the Paris massacre, Abdelhamid Aba’aoud, 28, who was killed in a police siege in a Paris suburb last Wednesday. The two terrorists met and bonded in prison.

Belgium and France Declare War on ISIS

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Hundreds of Belgian police raided a Brussels neighborhood Monday morning in search of Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists and arrested the “eighth” man involved in the attacks but who did not blow himself up.

He was identified as Saleh Abdeslam.

ISIS terrorist Saleh Abdeslam.

The mastermind behind the gruesome killings of at least 132 people is Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 26, who is in Syria. He also is suspected of being behind plots to attack a high-speed train and a Paris church.

France has discovered that ISIS is entrenched in the country far more than ever could be imagined. Security officials discovered a rocket launcher Monday night in Lyons, France while searching for 19-year-old terrorist Salah Abdeslam, who was born in Belgium and is a French national.

He reportedly was stopped during or after Friday night’s attacks but was released.

France said it is considering a ground offensive against ISIS as hundreds of police carried out 168 raids overnight and took 104 people into custody, including relatives of some of the suicide terrorists.

The French and Belgian reaction to what has been described here as “France’s 9/11” is fierce and is leaving President Barack Obama on the defense against Republican critics who are afraid that lack of a more vigorous offense is leaving the United States next in line.

The backlash in France and Belgian has sacred Muslims who are not part of the Islamic radical movement. Those who showed up at a rally in memory of the victims of Friday’s night barbaric murders were cursed, and even the bleeding heart Swedish government is putting a clamp on its open borders.

One French Muslim woman was quoted as saying she wishes she were a Jew so she would not be viewed suspiciously, but French Jews don’t feel any safer that they are not Muslims. Israeli once again is preparing for another wave of Aliyah from France.

Millions of Muslims have flooded all of Europe, and liberals are beginning to ask the inevitable question if it is too late to prevent the continent from becoming Islamic.

The lack of aggressive action was highlighted by the revelation that one of the ISIS suicide bombers Friday night, Ismael Omar Mostefai, who had been arrested seven times for larceny and had been targeted as radical Islamist.

Signs of planned attacks on Paris were evident three days before the attacks. Four ISIS-linked social media accounts posted messages with images of weapons, the Eiffel Tower and good wishes for the attacks, Fox News reported.

Moreover, Iraqi officials warned coalition countries of imminent ISIS attacks at least one day before the suicide bombers struck.

No Insurance Available for Jewish Kindergartens in Belgium!

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

A Belgian insurance company has refused to insure a Jewish kindergarten in Brussels.

The company claimed the risk of a terror attack on the European Jewish Association-run institution was too high.

EJA General Director Rabbi Menachem Margolin called on all European governments and heads of European Union institutions to provide security to all Jewish institutions that would satisfy insurance companies, and establish an alternative insurance mechanism that would secure any institution that might fall victim to anti-Semitic attacks.

“It is truly a scandal,” Rabbi Margolin said. “First and foremost, not enough is being done in order to secure Jewish institutions throughout Europe, despite our repeated requests and warnings, and then insurance companies are using the security situation as an excuse in order not to insure kindergartens.

“This is the bizarre and cynical reality facing Jewish communities across Europe,” he said.

In January, government agents killed two suspects in what they said was a developing “Belgian Charlie Hebdo” situation. Counter terror raids took place around the country as police raided an apartment in the eastern city of Verviers, 70 miles from Brussels. The operation was part of an investigation into returning homegrown jihadists who had traveled to fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – ISIS, or Daesh – in Syria.

In France alone, anti-Semitic attacks doubled last year to nearly 1,000 incidents, and this year a massive terror attack led to an unprecedented worldwide unity march that brought millions together around the world.

In January, an outraged French President Francois Hollande told Jewish citizens “France is your homeland” in what appeared to be a response to remarks by Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu days earlier at the Great Synagogue of Paris, following the unity march.

In a speech to mark 70 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz Nazi death camps Hollande said France would combat the “unbearable” rise of anti-Semitism and protect “all its children and tolerate no insult, no outrage, no desecration… How in 2015 can we accept that we need armed soldiers to protect the Jews of France?” he demanded.

Hollande vowed to continue protection at Jewish institutions such as synagogues, schools, community centers and business and so far has kept his word, but the vow has come at a price. At least one soldier himself accidentally hit the trigger while playing with his own assault rifle. Miraculously no one was hurt.

In the UK as well, the number of anti-Semitic incidents has doubled over the past year, according to figures from the Community Security Trust (CST), which has recorded statistics on anti-Semitism in Britain since 1984.

In that nation as well, Prime Minister David Cameron told the parliament in January, “We need to do everything we can to help this community feel safe and secure in our country… I would hate it for British Jews not to feel that they have a home here in Britain, safe, secure and a vital part of our community.”

France Arrests Teen Who Used E-Mail to Threaten Israeli Envoy

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Police in Paris have arrested a 19-year-old Muslim who sent e-mail threats on the life of Israeli consul to Marseilles, Barnea Hasaid and French Jewish Member of Parliament Meir Habib.

The threat included video clips of Islamic State (ISIS) beheadings.

The ISIS published a new “A Message to France” video on Saturday that threatened new attacks on France as well as Belgium.

The terrorist army claims it has members in European countries who are preparing to launch new attacks in Paris and Brussels.

Guarding Antwerp’s Jews

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Soldiers standing guard outside a Jewish school in the port city of Antwerp, Belgium on January 18, 2014.

300 soldiers were deployed in Belgium to protect sensitive buildings, in particular, Jewish-related buildings, after an Islamist plot was foiled by security forces.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/guarding-antwerps-jews/2015/01/18/

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