Belgium: 51 NGOs with suspected terrorist links in Molenbeek

51 out of more than 1,600 NGOs registered in the Brussels district of Molenbeek have suspected links to terrorism, according to a new Belgian police report quoted by De Morgen.

Molenbeek is considered to be a safe heaven for Islamist terrorists. “In the heart of Belgium’s capital there is the neighborhood of Molenbeek, a largely Muslim area that has become one of the world’s main breeding grounds of violent Islamist extremists,” Washington Post described the Belgian capital’s district after the Paris attack.

In the aftermath of Paris 2015 terrorist attacks, Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon pledged to “clean out Molenbeek,” after the district was confirmed to be the home of Salah Abdelsalam, one of the key suspects in Paris tragedy.

Meanwhile, the actions of the police provoked an angry reaction from Molenbeek NGOs as a number of them filed a complaint about “police brutality,” claiming that there were instances of “intimidation” and “harassment” during the police checks. Ahmed El Khannouss, a member of the Humanist Democratic Centre Party and a local councilor, told De Morgen that “the methods used by police were controversial.” He also added that he sent a letter to Jambon, outlining his concerns.

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