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January 15, 2015 6:39 pm

Belgium Anti-Terror Raid Highlights Security Fears Within Jewish Community

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The Belgian town of Verviers was the site of an anti-terror raid on Thursday night. Photo: Twitter

The death of two jihadis in an anti-terror operation in eastern Belgium has again highlighted the fears of the country’s Jewish community over security, less than a year after the attack by an Islamist terrorist on the Jewish Museum in Brussels in which four people were murdered.

Belgian Prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt said that police had targeted a group of Islamists in the town of Verviers who had returned from Syria and were about to launch “large-scale” attacks.

“The suspects immediately and for several minutes opened fire with military weaponry and handguns on the special units of the federal police before they were neutralized,” he said.

Anti-terror raids were also under way in the Brussels region, Mr Van der Sypt added, according to the BBC.

“We still expect a number of arrests,” he said.

Suspects had opened fire on police with assault weapons, he said.

Rabbi Shimon Lasker, who represents the Chabad movement in Belgium, told The Algemeiner that news of the raid was spreading uncertainty through the 50,000-strong Jewish community, particularly after the terror attacks in Paris last week.

“More than before, people here, especially those with children, are asking whether there is a future,” Rabbi Lasker said. “They are asking, if there is a raid on a Jewish school, are we equipped, are we ready?”

A dinner planned for this Friday night with a Jewish youth group had already been canceled, Rabbi Lasker said, adding that some families with children had also stopped attending synagogue in recent days.

Charles Picqué, a leading Belgian socialist politician who enjoys close relations with the Jewish community, has called for additional resources in the fight against terrorism. Earlier this week, he told Belgian news site that “it is not the police who must protect the many Jewish institutions located in area, but the military. The police are not trained to fight against people armed with Kalashnikovs who are returning from Syria.”

Around 300 Belgian jihadis are reported to have traveled to Syria to fight with Islamic State and other terrorist groups engaged in the brutal civil war there.

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  • Isaac

    In France the military is now protecting the yeshivas. Belgium will need to do the same.

  • Nancy Williams

    Where were the three million people marches in the past when Jews were killed and Christians were killed & burned by radical islam? Why aren’t the jihadist passports confiscated when they’ve gone to the Middle East to learn how to kill us infidels? Canada has done this & in retaliation, they killed 2 innocent military in public! Radical islam is laughing at us as we allow these atrocities to go on for years! Enough is enough! EVIL PREVAILS WHEN GOOD PEOPLE DO NOTHING!!!

  • chaya chais

    Retired and soldiers all need their weapons plus shomrim. license those willing and able with proper security checks This is also a war against Christians, churches, buddhists all nonbelievers. It is pan jihad. Fight back wifh words, morality and weapons. Praise our police, not anarchists jihad

  • James David

    With the ease of travel it is quite simple for men of evil to train to become terrorist. Today small cells are extremely difficult to expose. The need is for a security force to be extremely alert to all of the changing circumstance. They need to pass on this information to the army etc. to enable them to make the appropriate response.

  • Eric R.

    Belgium actually did a better job of protecting Jews than a lot of Nazi occupied countries (they saved about 2/3 of them by hiding them or getting them to Vichy France), but that Belgium is long dead.

    The Belgium of today is a bunch of filthy, degenerate Nazi savages who are looking to correct their “mistake” in WW 2 of saving the Jews.

    They want their Muslims to finish the Jews off.

    • You have honed your bigotry on the lessons taught by Hitler and his Nazi’s. The Holocaust teaches us that no matter what! Intolerance must not sway the Tolerance of the many toward any Indifference

  • JEWS GET OUT OF EUROPE. I recently bowed out of the interfaith Holocaust service, because it was a custom to include Hatikvah at the end, but now some Christian groups object as they support the Palestinians and the Muslim Imams would either sit or leave during the Hatikvah. Perhaps interfaith Holocaust programs no longer make sense, at least to me. I do not need the stress of seeing disrespect being afforded to Israel and nor do I wish to compromise by leaving Hatikvah out. The interfaith Holocaust memorials started as well intentioned way for the Jewish people and other groups to pause and reflect on man’s capacity to perpetuate unbelievable cruelty against his fellow and to commiserate as a group and others, with the Jews and hopefully prevent this nightmare from reoccurring .Over the years it was understandably modified to include other victims of genocidal mass killings, though these mass killings were not really analogous, as the Nazis were obsessed at not just killing Jews as a competing group, but Hitler desired to eliminate our creed and it’s pervasive influence on humanity, particularly Christian doxy. As a result of Muslim participation and twisted liberalism, this is morphing into a twisted canard where Israel is being blamed for perpetuating ethnic killings against the Palestinians as the Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis. One can understand the Islamo-Nazis belief system with a quote from the Talmud. We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG, CHILD OF Holocaust survivors and a refugee born in a D.P. camp.

  • charlie johnson

    You see these new clerks writing up such wonderful stories of how these Muslim nations tolerate Christians and Jews within their borders? So these socialist news journalist imply by this message that western nations should be so kind as to return this favor by being tolerate of Muslims within our own borders. This points out a tactic of the socialist. You are delivered half the truth. The other half? The Jews and Christians in Muslim nations are not going out in gangs to slaughter the locals among them.If you want liberal/socialist propaganda turn on your TV. If you want the truth you must use your mind and not let the liars use it for you.

  • I think that the EU should develop a comprehensive strategy to deal with the problems of radical jihadists in the region – the problems have been growing, and now seems the right moment to take the offense to a higher level.

  • Dov

    Everyone who has ever visited Europe knows that the police in these countries cannot even defend their own. The moment they see trouble, they run. To be protected by the police is a joke.

    • Shame on You! That Young Police Woman did not Run! That Muslim Policeman did not Run! Actually, he could not run as he had been shot and was Murdered as he lay wounded.

  • steven L

    The Belgian Socialists must be upset that their “proteges” got caught before committing terror.

  • Freddy Lejeune

    I lived in my youth in Verviers from l938 till 1952 when I emigrated alone to the US. My parents lived in Verviers from 1933 till 1967 when they came to the US. My parents and I always were considered as if we were Belgians. In fact, several people of Verviers helped us in hiding in the Belgian Ardennes. Even today I still feel that Verviers is my home town. I was born in Wiesbaden where i was reared nearby by a childless aunt and uncle while my parents had soughgt refuyge in Belgium shortly after my birth . I rejoigned them on october 1,1938, a day after the Munich Agreement. My foster parents in Germany were deported and gassed on arrival at the exterminatopon camp of Belgium. Had I remained with them i would not be writing this today. In my days, Belkgians were my protyectors. Belgians then and i hope also today are mainly philosemites ( pro jewish). I still follow the Verviers soccer club via the internet. I do believe that of all countries in Europe, Belgium has aleays been the most hospitable to Jews. There a lot of Belgians who have been recognized as the Justs by Yad Vashem. Long live Belgium. Of course, today’s Jews may be different from the Jews who lived then i n Belgium. My gamily and I and most of the Jews i knew then were fuylly assimilated with the Belgian communities. And the Belgian communites in Wallonia protected its Jews during the German occupation of Belgium through support with improvised identities. I am still using my name then of Freddy lejeune. Vive la Belgique.

    • Freddy Lejeune

      errata: My foster parents were deported and gassed a tthe extermination camp of Sobibor mid June 1942. They were deported from Frankfurt , Germany. My family and I survived in hiding in the Belgian Ardennes under the name of Freddy lejeune which now I use as a pen name. A children’s book has recently been published on “The story of Fred A. Kahn (a.k.a Freddy lejeune). I have also been cited in the US House of Delegates by Congressman Chris Van Hollen “A Statement in tribute to Fred A. kahn,” in Congressional report, March 13, 2014. I am credited as the “architect of the presidential debates.” I owe my life to the brave Belgians of Verviers who procured the false identity cards to my parents during the German occupation of Belgium. I consider Verviers my home town even though I have now lived in the US 63 years.

      • The difference today is simple! Hitler declared his intention to systematically destroy 11,293,000 Jews. He Murdered 6,000,000 of that number. Islamist terrorists will Murder from within, acting out a hatred The Holocaust has yet to teach them its lesson! Though these radicals have learned all too well what a World will do while others are the victims of terror!

  • Eve

    This is very simple: why is anyone “returning from Syria”?

  • They took away the weapons of the people to defend ourselves and our community. They must have been afraid that we would start shooting at the muslim population. I live in the neighbourhood where a terrorist attacked a Jewish school with a grenade. The police is sometimes in the neighbourhood, but what can they do ? They seem not to pay attention, they have no idea where possible attacks can come from. As a streetphotographer for several decades i know the neighbourhood very well and I hear that people really fear agression from the muslim side of town.

  • Why will nobody simply contrast medievalism and modernity to explain what is called “radical Islam.” I tried to do that here, implicating all medievalisms:

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    I hope the tiny Jewish Belgian community has the common sense to leave now. It will only get worse and after they leave who cares that Belgium will burn to the ground like Hiroshima. Because it will.

  • Carla Isselmann

    I do see now what happens with Obama: he lets in 300.000 muslims into the USA as immigrants and leaves it to Netanyahu to offer Jews in France and Europe hospitality in Israel.
    It is 1939 all over again for the USA and Jewish persecuted Europeans.

  • Jacqueline

    Why do they let them back in rescind their citizenship.

  • news tip

    according to the economist, belgium schools will be closed friday.

    http://w ww.economist .com/news/europe/21639787-just-europe-was-recovering-paris-police-brussels-battle-returned-jihadists-another-gun

  • Emanuel

    I hope everybody wakes up this is beyond serious. Police may not be the answer, actual military may be needed plus armed private security plus they should give at least 300 licenses for handguns and assault rifles to Jews for self defense who want to receive the training and can shoulder the responsibility.

    • shloime

      are you american or something? the answer to guns is not “more guns”.

      how about letting the police actually do their job, and arrest people for possession of illegal weapons, even in immigrant “no-go” zones? and if necessary, as in this raid, they can call upon the army for backup? trained professionals doing what they are trained and equipped to do.

      giving guns to civilians, when even the police are scared, is just too stupid for words.

    • Robert Evans

      These and other reports are wake-up calls to everyone in free-world countries . . . not just us Jews. What steps are being taken to REALLY neutralize these nasty people? Jews are not the only ones in jeoprady but we need to look out for ourselveds because others aren’t prepared to stand up with us.

    • David Matar

      Instead of turning yourselves into an armed camp, and relying on the Belgian military (?!?!) to protect you, pack your bags, sell your businesses, close your schools and synagogues, and return to your homeland, where your brothers and sisters are waiting for you. Enough clinging to galut and minority status!

      • and centralise the area where they can target you easier?

    • Couldn’t agree more to your post.

    • I agree the Mossad would gladly train JEWISH security on what to look for and defense. There is nothing like your own protecting you