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Commission of Home Affairs examines recommendations of Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry on terrorist attacks

2019, November 6

The Commission of Home Affairs of the Federal Parliament examined this morning the recommendations from the report of the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry on the terrorist attacks. That committee was set up following the attacks in Zaventem and Maalbeek on March 22, 2016. Minister of Home Affairs and Security Pieter De Crem gave the latest update with regard to the implementation of the recommendations made by the Committee of Inquiry.

 “Our meeting today can hardly ignore the recent news. Two weeks ago, the self-proclaimed leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr-Al-Baghdadi, was killed during a military intervention by American elite forces. Following this operation, questions were raised in the press with regard to the terrorist threat in our country. We’re definitely not standing idle. Even with a government in current affairs, we continue to follow every possible scenario closely and we take to heart the recommendations made in the report of this committee”, said the Belgian Minister at the outset.

This was followed by a long list of steps that have been taken since the attacks to consolidate a more effective and efficient system to ensure people’s safety. Minister De Crem referred to the locally organized entities called ‘Local Task Forces’, the fully operational Belgian Passenger Information Unit (BelPIU) and the Common Database (GGB-BDC) that currently centralizes the data of 556 so-called ‘Foreign Terrorist Fighters’, 67 hate propagandists and 52 ‘Homegrown Terrorist Fighters’ in order to be able to monitor them.

 “The reason for this report were the attacks committed with such an intensity, such a brutality and incurring such a heavy human toll that every effort that has been made since then, was more than worth it. I sincerely believe that the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry on the terrorist attacks are being taken seriously and that the various stakeholders involved are trying, step by step, to create a more effective and stronger security chain to keep our citizens and our society safe”, said Minister De Crem. “However, as I have already stated on numerous occasions, we must collectively arm ourselves against the illusion of such a thing as ‘zero risk’ : the risk that some individuals go completely frantic, exists, always and everywhere, whether they are violent religiously radicalized people or right-wing nationalist extremists. We must not lose sight of this either, despite all the efforts and progress made by many people and stakeholders on a daily basis”, concluded Minister De Crem.

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