Israel security experts warned Belgium airport of weaknesses just weeks ahead of terrorist bombing. Israel, the foremost expert on identifying terror threats recently inspected the Zaventem Airport and found significant shortcomings.
The news of this warning came in as criticism of Belgium’s near pre-9/11 lax security grows. Reports that Belgium officials may have had specific information on the planned attacks shed light on the failings of their security services. Turkey recently revealed that one fo the Brussels attackers was detained and deported back to Europe in 2015. Belgium released the suspect in spite of the Turkish government warnings that he was a foreign fighter.
Belgium police have identified the man deported from Turkey as El Bakraoui. He was one of the two men who blew themselves up in the Zaventem airport. His brother Khalid attacked the metro station in Brussels.
Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz criticized Belgian authorities as too busy “eating chocolate and enjoying life” to properly identify terror as Islamist, and would not be able to combat the phenomenon until it did so.
The French finance minister Michel Sapin accused Brussels of “naivety” over the influx of radical Islamic extremism within their boarders.
Last November multiple terrorists attacked locations in Paris. They used rifles and bombs in coordinated attacks that killed 130. An additional 368 innocent victims were wounded, with 80-90 of them seriously injured. Belgium has been criticized for it lack security and monitoring of the growing terror threat within its cities. The Paris attacks were mostly planned in the Brussels niehborhood of Molenbeek. This small suburb is home to many of Brussels immigrant population including many from Islamic nations. It has become a hot bed of extremism over the years while Belgium authorities blissfully ignored the impending threat.
The recent Brussels attacks may serve as a wake up call to this sleepy European nation. Maybe now they will listen to the Israeli security experts and take the Islamic extremism threat more seriously.