Salafism is an austere branch of Islam that seeks to recreate the original purity of the religion as practiced by the first generations of Muslims. Not all Salafist are violent or politically-minded, but Sunni Islamist terrorists generally adhere to Salafist principles.
The Salafi movement or Salafist movement or Salafism is an ultra-conservative reform branch or movement within Sunni Islam that developed in Arabia in the first half of the 18th century against a background of European colonialism. It advocated a return to the traditions of the "devout ancestors" (the salaf).
While declaring that Brussels is not the capital of jihad (but the Molenbeek is), the mayor of Belgium’s capital said the city has a definite problem with radical Islam. In comments translated by Politico, Mayeur said, “Terrorism is a problem that involves Europe as a whole. Don’t forget what happened in Paris, Nice and Berlin. If this was only a Brussels problem, it would have been solved.”
He said jihadism began in Antwerp, then spread to Vivoorde (an area next to Brussels), Molenbeek (a Brussels suburb) and north Brussels. At present, he admitted, Brussels still has a shortage of police officers to cope with security concerns. A recent governmental report concluded at least 51 organizations in Brussels have links to terrorism.
Meanwhile in France, a study of high school students in economically depressed areas conducted by sociologists and released by National Centre for Scientific Research suggested Muslim students are more likely than native French or students who are immigrants to condone radical and violent behavior.
The report looked at 7,000 students between the ages of 14 and 16 in 21 schools and four academies in France. The study indicated 32 percent of Muslim students adhere to religious fundamentalism versus six percent of Christians and 0.6 percent of other non-Muslims.
“The spread of radical ideas is around three times stronger among young Muslims than in the sample as a whole,” said Olivier Galland, one of the sociologists who conducted the survey. “However, two-thirds of Muslims do not adhere to these ideas,” he noted.
At least 51 Islamic organizations in the Belgian capital Brussels have links to terrorism, according to a government report.
In an effort to clamp down on radical Islam, police conducted house-to-house searches of more than 8,600 residences and 22,668 inhabitants in the district of Molenbeek, which The Guardian referred to as “Europe’s Jihad Central.” A number of high-profile terrorists have been linked to Molenbeek, including the perpetrators of the Bataclan attack in Paris in 2015, in which 130 people were killed.
The raids were carried out over the past year under the Channel Program, which saw 100 new officers and €39 million given to the police to tackle terrorism. The raids led to 72 terrorism suspects being identified, 20 of whom are currently incarcerated in Belgium, 26 are “closely monitored” by authorities and 26 who are in Syria or Iraq. Police reviewed 1,617 organizations in Molenbeek. Of these, 51 were found to have links to terrorism and radical Islam.
The Socialist Mayor of Molenbeek Françoise Schepmans branded the program to “clean up” the district as “wicked and unjustified,” saying in an open letter to Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon, “We thought we had overcome such practices [as inspecting mosques] since the Second World War when people were singled out for their religion — a thing which led to one of the worst ignominies of history.”
|Belgian Jihadis are behind the carnage at Paris Bataclan Theater.|
Ten teenagers suspected of planning terrorist attacks on Christmas markets were arrested in Belgium. Speaking for the Belgium prosecutor’s office, spokesman Eric Van Der Sijpt said the group had received instructions online as to how to make bombs and kill people. “[The teenagers] were recruited by terrorist groups to prepare or commit terrorist acts,” the spokesman said.
The arrest follows the detention of a 12-year-old boy who tried to detonate a nail bomb at a Christmas market in Germany. He was described as being “strongly radicalized” and “incited and instructed" by an "unidentified member of ISIS,” according to investigators that spoke to the German Magazine Focus.
The boy reportedly planned to travel to Iraq and join ISIS last summer. He was not arrested because he is younger than the criminal age of responsibility in Germany. He was taken into foster care, however. Citing “credible information,” the U.S. State Department issued a warning to its citizens about the “heightened risk” of terrorist attacks during the holiday season in Europe.
Alsumaria News quoted a source in Mosul who said “ISIS media outlets started to promote footage of one of the leader’s speech, at a mosque in the city of Mosul, threatening to attack European countries during Christmas celebrations.” The group will be desperate to remain relevant after suffering a number of recent defeats in Iraq and Syria.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the August 6 terrorist attack in the Belgian city Charleroi, in which a man with a machete slashed two police officers while screaming "Allahu Akbar." One of the officers was seriously injured. The terrorist was shot dead at the scene by a third officer.
The Belgian government stepped up security at police stations following the attack. Meanwhile, police in the eastern Belgian city Liege arrested another man with a machete a day later. It is not known why he had the machete and he did not attack anyone.
The Islamic State called on its followers to carry out terrorist attacks against mainland Europe and America, which do not require in-depth planning or extensive coordination. Other European jihadists heeded the call to travel to Syria.
Related posts at following links:
Molenbeek: Europe's Jigadis Central In Belgian Brussels
Belgium Is Ground Zero For Muslim Jihadis In Europe