Barbarians inside Europe's gates
Belgians and all Europeans are looking around themselves today with renewed apprehension, having been reminded once more by the attacks in Brussels about their vulnerability to terrorism that arises from within their midst. They’ve allowed parallel societies to emerge and now they fear the problem can only grow.Because Europe has let so many people in of questionable loyalty to their culture, it may find itself fighting an Islamist insurgency within its borders that it refused to fight in Iraq and Syria. This could require increased military patrols in certain neighborhoods that harbor the terrorist. It will require a force to space ratio adequate to cut off the movement of the terrorists. It is not at all clear that European governments are willing to defend their own culture.
It was only fitting, for example, that when police arrested the suspected terrorist Salah Abdeslam in the gritty Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels late last week, across town European Union leaders were meeting at the plush E.U. Commission headquarters to discuss the immigration crisis that bedevils Europe.
Fitting because the Molenbeek neighborhood represents the division and separation that exist in European society, and why there is a fear that migrants arriving in Europe in their hundreds of thousands could find in such places networks ready to radicalize them.
The police that finally arrested Abdeslam, wanted for his alleged participation in the Nov. 13, 2015 terrorist attack that left 130 dead in Paris, after a four-month manhunt and gunfight that left him wounded—seemed at times to be fighting Molenbeek, some of whose residents threw missiles at them. After the arrest, Belgium’s Interior Minister remarked that he was surprised by how much help Abdeslam had received.
Though it’s too early to tell about the attack at Brussels on Tuesday, March 22, the Molenbeek neighborhood incubated the Paris attack. Ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud came from there. Several of the other terrorists, including Salah Abdeslam, had ties to the neighborhood, where Muslims make up more than half of the population and youth unemployment is high.
Molenbeek is hardly alone. Ca n’Anglada in Barcelona has also been identified as the origin of several ISIS fighters....
In Germany there is Marxloh and Neukölln; in France, Seine-Saint-Denis and Clichy-sous-Bois. In Britain, the Islamic population is also clustered in some cities.