An anti-terrorist operation in Belgium may have been given added impetus from the mass murder in Paris at the Charlie Hebdo offices, but Belgium has long been a hotbed of Islamic terror cells. The French are often criticized for having a lackadaisical attitude toward radical Islamists who immigrate but do not integrate, and turn toward AQ and ISIS or other terrorist groups. But take note:
- Belgium has been the destination of choice for over a decade as moving into France, and dealing with its more restrictive immigration policies and anti-terror laws, has made many radical Islamists turn to Belgium.
- Belgian based terrorists have been behind 2004 terror bombings in Casablanca and in Madrid and have recruited fighters for the insurgency in Iraq to fight against and kill American troops.
- Belgian based terrorists gave logistical support to terrorists who posed as journalists to kill American ally and anti-Taliban leader Shah Masood in Afghanistan.
These are just a small part of the story. The list of Belgium-based terror groups and activities is long and goes back to the time of the World Trade Center attacks. Due to Belgium's lax criminal and anti-terror laws, it has had difficulty even in prosecuting known terrorists like Nizar Trabelsi, who in 2003 was convicted in a plot ot drive a car bomb into an American air base located in Belgium.