terrorism - Page 3

  • Film "Civic duty" are we all antiterrorist spies or nuts ?

    This is a very strange film and the messages in the film are so diverse that you could present them in any way you want.

    The one who would say that it is your civic duty to report anything you find strange about your 'arabic' neighbors (even if everybody else including the police finds you a dangerous nut) would have enough evidence in the film to defend his case.  

    The one who would say that it doesn't change a thing if you do such a thing and that you would have to leave police handle those things, would show the ending of the film because the terrorist attack took place anyway and the responsable informer (going nuts in the process) ends up in the madhouse without a job, a life or wife. 

    The same discussion is taking place with online terrorist website hunters. Some of them took enormous personal risks and were sometimes interferring with terrorist honeypots set up or monitored by intelligence services. 

    As with so many things, there is no straight clear solution or answer here.

    Maybe this belief is why I am not going nuts :) 

  • Belgium is a good partner in the antiterrorist fight, says US report


    Belgium

    Belgium continued to strengthen its response to the threat of terrorism, fashioning new institutions in its security services, improving internal coordination among antiterrorism offices, promulgating new laws to deal with terrorism and money laundering more aggressively, and strengthening agencies that confront terrorist financing.

    In 2006, under Belgium's 2003 antiterrorism law, members of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), a far left militant Turkish group, were convicted for membership in a terror organization and for providing material support to a terrorist group. The Belgian Court of Appeals upheld the DHKP/C convictions and imposed stiffer sentences in November 2006. In April 2007, Belgium's Supreme Court cited technical grounds in quashing the Court of Appeals ruling; at year’s end the case was being retried in the Antwerp Appellate Court.

    On October 15, hearings began in the case of Bilal Soughir and five other men suspected of recruiting and training terrorists for suicide attacks in Iraq, including Muriel Degauque, a Belgian national who, in 2005, blew herself up in a failed bomb attack in Iraq. Federal authorities planned ongoing reviews of court rulings to gauge what acts and groups could be prosecuted successfully under the 2003 legislation and what types of sentences could be imposed.

    Recently-enacted legislation that loosened restrictions on police surveillance of alleged extremists and clarified procedures for authorizing searches, wiretaps, and use of informants also facilitated action against suspected terrorists. Belgian authorities continued to strengthen their internal capabilities to combat terrorism and made its Coordinating Body for Threat Analysis (OCAM/CODA) more fully operational.1 OCAM aims to facilitate the exchange of information among all governmental counterterrorism bodies and make a common threat analysis on the basis of such information exchanges. The new agency operated under the joint authority of the Justice and Interior Ministers and included representatives from the external and internal services, the Federal Police, Customs, and the Ministries of Transport, Finance, and Foreign Affairs.

    Belgium also granted authorities the ability to create a national list of terrorist entities, separate from UN and EU lists, to be coordinated by OCAM, and to include financiers and suspected financiers of terrorism. This information will allow Belgian authorities to develop and apply a national capacity to freeze assets (in addition to UN- and EU-mandated asset freezes that Belgium already implements). In addition, Belgian cooperation on security programs such as the Container Security Initiative (CSI), Megaports, and export controls has been generally excellent.

    Belgian emergency action plans have been reviewed and updated to prepare for and respond to potential attacks, including bioterrorism. On a local level, authorities have instituted drills of rapid alert systems, and reviewed critical infrastructure support and civil protection and medical assistance procedures. Federal and local authorities have participated in a EUCOM WMD Consequence Management exercise, furthering U.S.-Belgian cooperation in this area. Police and private sector working groups have been formed to target terrorists, the financing of terrorism, and terrorist use of the Internet.

    Belgium made a significant military contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, where it maintains a ground presence of about 400 troops, mainly at Kabul airport, with some personnel at the Provisional Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Konduz. Belgium contributed approximately $33 million euros toward Afghan reconstruction and promised to boost its support for reconstruction and development, totaling approximately 45 million euros, to be disbursed over the next four years. Assistance to Iraq included expanded participation in the Jordan International Police Training Center in Amman (which subsequently closed in September), training for Iraqi diplomats and magistrates in Belgium, and training for Iraqi servicemen in Abu Dhabi, in cooperation with Germany.

    Belgian authorities remained concerned about potential terror activities involving groups from Algeria and North Africa, and have investigated groups such as the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM), the DHKP/C, a far right group with links to neo-Nazi groups, and a cell suspected of training members for attacks in Iraq. The KGK/PKK is a known presence, with television production studios in Brussels. The KGK/PKK continued to exploit Belgium to raise illicit financing for violence in Turkey and its camps in northern Iraq.

    Belgium continued to take action in response to EU and UN Security Council actions to freeze suspected terrorist assets and to study steps to improve its ability to combat and control terrorist financing. Based upon a mutual evaluation review by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in June 2005, Belgium was working to implement FATF's recommendations.

    http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2007/103707.htm State Department 

  • Verviers again called a terrorist center or not ?

    We can ask ourselves what it is with Verviers that after the socalled PKK training camps (which were not there) it is now called the center of Hamas in Europe according to a new report

    We have treated this report already before (you read some things first here... and some were already published by theinquirer (now at our furl.net archive a year before))  There are other things in that report that are much more important and that show that Belgium is being very active in trying to limit the influence of radicals in the organised muslimcommunities in Belgium. (last page)

    This report shows very clearly a problem with the definition of terrorism or sympathiser without taking into account all the consequences of such a labelling.  We should be harsh and unrelentless against terrorists and their direct immediate supporters and networks, but we shouldn't label every opposition and critique and protest as terrorist what some of these think tanks and organisational charts are doing. (example the charts in this report)

    And this guy participated in an event organised by the American embassy several years ago which had the goal of bringing moderate muslim leaders and the western political leaders and professors together in an open dialogue, trying to build a bridge.  So would he be invited if he was a mole or a spy ? Wouldn't he be vetted thoroughly inside out upside down before they had send him an invitation ? Would he still be invited if they would have found any trace of links to terrorist groups or quotes that would show any sympathy ? 

    Of course he could have changed course, as people sometimes do. And while Hamas is a terrorist organisation for some, it ain't for others and such organisations have a multitude of organisations so people can participate in their movement (charity, solidarity, political pressure) without being in contact with any of the more military activities or sympathies.  It is sure that they are part of the same movement and that they are at the top organised or controlled by the same people, but labelling anyone a terrorist that has anything to do with any of those organisations (submarines) is sometimes a bit farstreched. Except if you want to have 2 million people in your terrorist watchlist. 

    But as the organisation has the same name as an important Mosque and as a Hamas brigade of so-called martyrs that are responsable for suicide attacks and the same name as the Hamas TV channels that uses Disney figures to teach children that the most important thing in life is to blow themselves up, it is understandable that doubts linger.  

    Al-Aqsa Foundation, Belgium : A Hamas-affiliated foundation outlawed by Israel in 1997 and classified as a terrorist organization in 1998, and designated by American Executive Order 13224 and in Switzerland and in the UK and so on. THe guy should know this also. 

  • Belgium is a safe haven for the Muslim Brotherhood ?

    This is what a report from an American antiterrorism thinktank says.

    "Since its origins in early student organizations,
    the Belgian Brotherhood network has grown to include Hamas support
    infrastructure and local Islamic groups that in turn are part of the
    Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), the global Muslim
    Brotherhood umbrella group in Europe. Belgium also serves as the FIOE
    national office. One individual, Bassem Hatahet, appears to be the most
    important figure in the Belgian Muslim Brotherhood.]"

    The record of the Brotherhood operations in Brussels is more mixed. Beyond
    sponsoring a youth conference under the auspices of the Council of Europe, the Ligue Islamique Interculturelle De Belgique does not appear to have succeeded in gaining recognition from any governmental organizations and the Belgian government does appear to have succeeded in keeping the Brotherhood out of the government-sponsored Muslim council by screening the members for extremist backgrounds.160 This is in sharp contrast to
    France, for example, where the government sponsored elections resulted in a dominant role for the Muslim Brotherhood organization there. Although, as this report has documented, the Belgian Brotherhood has recently created a series of new national organizations, it is not clear that any of them has yet been particularly active or successful. Far more successful have been the Belgian-based components of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), particularly the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organizations (FEMYSO), which have managed to achieve official status at the UN, as well as with the Council of Europe and the European Commission. In addition, the location of the FIOE national office in Brussels has resulted in elevating the status of the Belgian branch that recently reported becoming “very active.” Leading the FIOE office in Brussels is Bassem Hatahet, whose name appears on virtually all of the paperwork associated with the Muslim Brotherhood organizations in Belgian. This would appear to confirm Mr. Hatahet’s role as the most important figure in the Belgian Brotherhood as reported by the Belgian security services.

     It is not clear why Al-Aqsa Belgium and CECIV/Essalem were not
    included as part of the Belgian Muslim Brotherhood. It is also not clear why the Belgian government never acted to shutdown Al-Aqsa Belgium as both Germany and the Netherlands did. While sources in the Belgian security service say this was due to the lack of a Belgian anti-terror law, it should also be noted that in 2006, Belgium, along with France and Ireland, argued against declaring the political wing of Hamas a terrorist group, a position that
    might shed light on the thinking behind the decision.

  • Belgium needs elite troopers fast

    We have troops in Afghanistan, Libanon and some other hot places around the world. We have a number of critical installations and are the host for numereous international conferences and institutions (of which the NATO, SHAPE)

    But are elite troopers that we should need in exceptional circumstances (like airplanes flying into buildings....) we need to have a ready specialised force to secure the most important centers of power and decisionmaking. We need them also probably for operations of support for our troops overseas and to protect our embassies and interests all over the world. Normal stuff for which you use these groups of highly motivated and experienced trained supersoldiers.

    There are for the moment 23 posts vacant on the 60 something according to a journal. Nice to know that the number of specialised soldiers is that limited. So you give away a weakness that wasn't one before..... endgame

    But if you are dreaming of becoming a supertrooper and know it is not as in the movies but for real, go ahead you don't need to be already a soldier. 

  • Belgian computerproblems help the PKK

    Last week the belgian police and anti-terrorist cells decided to hold a raid on the PKK houses and cercles in Wallonia. Since about 3 years there are rumors that the PKK would be organizing 'terrorist" training camps around there. So when they apprehended several people, who claim to be participating at a congress about women rights or something like that, several of them were hold so our Minister of the Interior could eventually sanction them for illegal being in our country. But that administration had problems with their computers and said to the police, just let them go.

    And so a highly publicized raid went nowhere like a balloon that loses all its air.

    To our Turkish hacking 'friends' you can't say our police and justice doesn't try to do something against the presence of PKK and other groups like that on our territory. They are even trying so hard that most of the time they are ridiculising themselves because they seem not to have enough information to raid a place when there are effectively illegal things going on and to bring them to justice as should be done. So leave our servers and sites alone. :)

  • A history of Belgian/french weapon dealing is standing trial

    Many of us have seen the film the War lord about a legendary weapon dealer that used the small airport of Ostend (Belgium) to transport weapons to wars all over the world and who was arrested in Thailand last month.

    This month begins the trial against another legendary Belgian weapon dealer who together with the french and other intelligence services organised the delivery of the necessary warfood to the chosen forces. This was the case in Bosnia, Iran, Congo-Brazzaville and many others. He was also working for the Belgian military intelligence services and for the CIA and eventually for the french or for some big french companies that have their own intelligence operations in Africa.

    So his pseudonym 'the fox' was not without substance. Some resources were furled (under terrorism).

  • Fitna the film that found other distribution channels

    We were afraid of a very harsh film and got a joke. We were afraid of riots and got silence (the right answer). We were afraid of a cyberstorm - like the danish - and got a few more hacks but nothing extra-ordinary (at first sight).

    What we got that is unacceptable is that it was not the law, not public pressure that brought this amateuristic piece of .... off the internethost was not a cyberstorm (against which you can defend yourself more or less) but real terrorist threats against real people with families just doing their work as they thought they were doing right.

    But that doesn't change a thing. The film is everywhere in P2P and downloadsites and it will be nearly impossible to kill them all. The stupid people who did this have given the film this way much more symbolich weight than it is worth it.

    Otherwise we shouldn't forget that there is a message from Bin Laden that Europe will be his next target. These messages have many times been followed by attacks (or foiled attempts). It seems as if these messages are wake-up calls for sleeping cells. This comment doesn't mean that I agree with whatever Wilders is writing or saying. The islam is as responsable for terrorism as communism or anarchism for their isolated terrorist groups. But this doesn't mean we should ignore that there is a message and that the message gave us a warning and that we should be alert that somewhere somebody may think he has been called to act (stupidly).

  • the Belgian parliament can't control the intelligence services

    With the questions about how an informant of our Belgian Intelligence service could also be an important Al Quaida operative for years and how it is possible that those services had no knowledge about a series of murders that he and his operatives committed during or before, came also the questions about how it is possible that even our parliamentary oversight was not informed. The secon question was how this parliamentary oversight will now be able to do its research and to think about the consequences and structural changes that are needed.

    The reason for this becomes clear now. The parliamentary oversight has no right to ask access to files that are called priviliged because they are being treated with other security services or just too hot to handle. The second reason is that the parliamentary oversight has no access to all files and reports that are being handled by the judiciary or by the federal police responsable for terrorism. In this case it means that the parliamentary oversight has no access to the most recent files about the superterrorist because there is also a judiciary case running that maybe endangered if the parliament had access.

    The problem is also that the parliament has been proven to be a main leaker of confidential information, even before the hearings in the oversight commission were ended. This is just totally irresponsable.  

  • Joke of the day : superterrorist smuggled weapons in....

    the death boxes of dead muslims that were transferred from Belgium to Marocco according to a source in Het Laatste Nieuws

    the reason was that these were not opened or controlled by the border police because that could be interpreted as a religious problem.

    Is this serious ?

  • Our superterrorist spyringmaster looks like Inspector Clouseau

     

    spyterrorist

     

     He was a major Al Quaida sleeper and organizer with around 20 operatives in Belgium being responsable for about 6 murders (some of them highlevel) some just racist (looks like a jew). Luckily he used the same guns for all these crimes so the forensics were quite simple.

    He was also an informant of our Belgian national intelligence service for years - nobody seems to know how many years. He seems to have given our intelligence service some information, but not much (if we read what he is telling the investigators in Marocco)

    He is rumored to be also an agent for the french or some american service or whatever we will read next. He is presented as the biggest terrorist networker ever arrested in Marocco. 

    Maybe this is the reason he started talking so freely. After all these years living all kinds of fears working for all these different people may have been a bit too much.  

  • The most intriguing and biggest terorist case ever in Belgium

    Abdelkader Belliraj was arrested as a superterrorist in Marocco, ready to blow up some buildings and begin a terrorist campaign together with 4 other Belgians and some others. In Belgium he lived in a small village and on television his neighbor was very astonished that one of the biggest terrorists captured in the last year was living next door. They rarely saw him or spoke to him and there was nothing particular about him. A very good example of a sleeper.

    Belliraj

    But than all hell broke lose because it was leaked that he was also an informer of our national intelligence service. As leaking such information is a crime here, the director of that service filed a complaint against unknown. But he was not the only informer, the owner of his house in Belgium (who also had different functions in different official islamic organisations in Belgium) was also an informer of the national intelligence service. This is what the papers(and not the service itself) tell us because it is by law forbidden to leak this information. Even our Minister of Justice couldn't deny or confirm this, but the fact that he is beginning several investigations speaks louder than words.

    It is not the fact that he is an informer that is posing the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that the Maroccans declared that he confirmed during the interrogations that he was responsable for several unsolved highlevel murders and attacks in Belgium. It is not clear if he became an informer before or afterwards and what the intelligence services knew or didn't. According to the CIA and FBI he wasn't really a sleeper and was involved in  more terrorism acts than was presumed untill now. 

    What is also  troubling is that he was a kind of representative of AL Qaida and went to Afghanistan to meet their leaders and maybe be trained there. It is also rumoured that he also worked for or with the french intelligence service or even American secret services.

    His group had links with an organisation called the Moroccan Islamic Combattant Group (GICM) and the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat in Algeria, which has become Al-Qaeda's North African branch, the minister said. It also sought to organise training in cooperation with Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2005, Benmoussa said, and some members of the network had access to training in manufacturing explosives.

    Things that make this story reflect me on

    * background checks

    * Information Leakage prevention 

    For more resources see my furl archive, subject terrorism 

  • Belgian's darkest postwar years back into the news

    The 80's were for Belgium what the 70's were for Germany and Italy but on a much smaller scale. We had neonazi's militia sometimes fighting in the streets and autonomous rebels disturbing demonstrations, we had terrorism from the far left (CCC) and a secret neonazi cell that was even infiltrated into the NATO headquarters (WNP). There were links to the old gendarmerie (our national police force at that time) and scandals around our National Intelligence Service. There were drugs and weapon dealers (with even weapons being stolen from the special intervention team of the gendarmerie or used by them) with connections to Libanon and so on. To make it even more interesting there were even some sex scandals and rumors about involvement of people in high 'positions' (something that also turned up in the early days of the Dutroux Affair but that became a witch hunt ).

    For some there is even an international link as they link the operations from the 'Bende van Nijvel' and the CCC to Gladio, the now defunct seceret stay behind NATO network of which some in Italy were also actively involved in these 'years of plomb'. And who says Gladio says NATO, CIA and the rightwing anticommunist networks with links to some very dubious people and regimes at that time.

    The problem is - yes Belgium is a surrealist country - is that the investigation into the most troublesome events during these years - the gang of Nivelles responsable for some 'blind' attacks on supermarkets near closing time - isn't finished and that there are still some people doing investigations after all these years. The investigation itself was a parody of an investigation and several journalists thought that there was much more bickering and backoffice politics than real objective professional policework going on.

    Now there is someone placing original videotapes of the sex parties in which people in high positions (a responsable for a prison for example) are getting very jammy (sex with jam). The videos come and go - but nobody seems to know that copies existed. Maybe we have no idea which material can still come up (in this web2.0 world) and shake eventually Belgian politix even after all these years. As if it isn't shaking enough nowadays....

    So look out for "littlekame12" the poster of stuff about these years even police investigators are keeping an eye on. As they go public with it and say they will find him aren't they trying to silence him or her ? Shouldn't he or she not come forward to someone or something with the stuff he or she has before it disappears (again) in this already 20 year long secret police investigation ? In which sometimes pieces disappeared literally - even from the caves of our main Court in Brussels.

    The main thing I have learned about these years (after all these years) was that it isn't too difficult to install a climate of fear into a society and the profound effect that can have. After the last attacks in 1985 I remember people were asking for the death penalty, for the right to wear guns, the police were getting what they were asking for and after the CCC attacks paratroopers were patrolling the streets of Brussels (accompanied by a police officer but still,....). After the CCC attacks police and national intelligence services were sweeping the more leftist activists with a major investigation called 'Mammouth' even if these dissidents were nowhere to be linked with these isolated terrorists. So everything can change very fast once bombs start exploding. And somewhere I sometimes understand that it is easy for us in our very quiet country to go criticize other countries that have a real terrorist activity. It took in Belgium only 5 attacks to change the way we were living (nobody went to the supermarket after dark).

    This is the main reason why fighting against terrorism is fighting for democracy and liberty.

    Another thought : maybe it is time to investigate this police investigation so that the public - our democracy - have the possibility to know what they should know and what has been proven and know what is still open to question. This way the investigation can also receive the necessary funds to use the new technological means and may use the new possibilities of the law (for witnesses or people who know more) to end this investigation before everybody involved is very dead. And most importantly to close this investigation for once and for all by telling the truth and only the truth, even if the truth is very hard.

    http://www.bendevannijvel.com/nieuws/index.html  Dutch

    http://anneesdeplomb.topdiscussion.com/  French

  • National Center for the Analysis of Terrorism Threat OCAD blasted again

    The OCAD is responsable in Belgium for collecting and concentrating all the different information the different intelligence and police forces have in Belgium about terrorism and the possible threats Belgium is facing. The organisation was formed to stop the infighting between the different services and to have one evaluation of the possible threats and not 4 different ones.

    It was the OCAD that called for the recent terroralert that came under some criticism. Now there is confidential parliamentary report that is leaked (with which purpose) that describes the situation at OCAD as catastrophic because they don't have the necessary analysts that ought already to be active. The question is that if the independent analysts haven't been recruited, who called for the terror alert and was there a vote or debate ?

    But there is even worse (can it ?) The organisation has no protected secret communication system with the police and intelligence services that are responsable to give them all the information they have at their hands. It is possible that this way information could be leaking.....

  • Introductory documents for the study of AL Qaida and consorts

    The Belgian anti-terrorist cel of the police is looking to recruit new civil translators and analysts. One anonymous commentator says it would take two years for them to get accustomed with the language and symbols of that very particular research.

    To shorten that a bit and to help them on their way, we'll point to the publications of a military school - study center in the States that is doing some meaningful research with just these goals. The research is based upon the massive amounts of Al Qaida documents that were/are being found in the international war on terror (as it is called) and of which a enormous deal are being declassified.

    http://ctc.usma.edu/publications/publications.asp

    You will find here

    * an atlas of the different militant groupings and writings and a statistical analysis of the relative importance of each

    * a playbook to get accustomed with the kind of reasoning and terms they use

    and so on. It is very Iraq centered, but has some different other interesting books and publications about Al Qaida.

  • Another USA Blocked persons list (treasury) and terrorist financing organisation still in Brussels

    http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/sdn/sdnlist.txt

    On this list we find some individuals with all their aliases

    and we find one address in Brussels that is being used by tens of Islamic foundations with all kinds of aliases that are all based on the same address and that seem to be linked to the financing of terrorism since 2003 (sic) and of which the EU has outlawed the Dutch branch (but there is still one operating in the 'capital of Europe ?). It is linked to Hamas and the Al Asqa brigades, one of the most radical military fractions.

    We also find two firms

    1. NV TRANS AVIATION NETWORK GROUP (a.k.a. TAN GROUP; a.k.a. TRANS AVIATION; a.k.a. TRANSAVIA NETWORK; a.k.a. TRANSAVIA TRAVEL AGENCY; a.k.a. TRANSAVIA TRAVEL CARGO), 1304 Boorj Building, Bank Street, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; P.O. Box 3962, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; P.O. Box 2190, Ajman, United Arab Emirates; Ostende Airport, Belgium [LIBERIA]

    The presence of firm in this document shows how old this list may be because this firm is not based on Ostend Airport anymore.

    But the Ostend Airport has been the center of several arms-trafficking scandals since the 90's. Even to the Taliban. It is a small airport that needs every transport it can get to stay open and so sometimes they probably aren't controlling too much what is being transported.  Some of the last site is in dutch. But quite investigative. The analysis of the current companies that use this small airport is also very interesting.

    2. The other firm is   BELS FLOWERS IMPORT EXPORT BVBA, Lange Lobroekstraat 8, Antwerpen 2060, Belgium; C.R. No. 478351540 (Belgium) [SDNTK] who seems to be part of a network or the property of drugsmugglers.

    So if you want to keep updated about firms that or persons that can't do any business with the States or any US firm or firm working with or for American government or firms, than you should go to here and subscribe to the rss feeds also.

  • The joke about our super-terrorist in jail ?

    He is so well garded and protected and controlled that it now seems - after the razzia's and investigations and panick last week - that he had access to a GSM (mobile phone) that was being exchanged between him and his mates.

    How do you expect us to take his 'supersecure' prison regime serious ?

  • Security people of Bhutto wanted jammers but never got them

    Today as Bhutto is killed in a suicide attack and the world is a bit more insecure and we all hope that Pakistan or parts of it won't become what Afghanistan once was in the hands of Al Qaida, there is technological part of the story.

    In the AFP story the security people said they wanted more protection for here and stuff like jammers but never got them. Jammers are used in many conflict zones (Israel, Iraq,...) to disable mobile phones to set off bombs from a distance.

    They aren't allowed in Belgium....... 

    Maybe during this terroralert we should think again.

  • Brussels under terroralert : this is Tintin, your reporter

    Reporters are sometimes having a really difficult time. At one side they want to report anything they see or hear or know and at another side they know best they shouldn't or at least should try to keep information that would help terrorists out of the article. It is a situation that is known by many security researchers.

    So when you read articles about an anti-bomb sweep on the Grand Place of Brussels after there was a false bomb-alert (which we like, it is part of the exercise) we can read in the newspapers where they didn't look...... Is this necessary. This should have been communicated to the parliament, not to every reader of the newspapers.

    It is also very disturbing to read that our police forces have more legal powers to tap communications and infiltrate than our national intelligence services. Shouldn't it be otherwise ? Policemen aren't spies and spies aren't policemen, even if each would sometimes like to play the other role (also). There are very professional and democratic reasons for this situation.

    One theory going around is that the terroralert is the result of a 'war' between our antiterrorism police forces and the antiterrorism services of our secret service. We already had several of these in Belgium before and they all had catastrophic consequences. If such is the case again it is up for the parliament to step in and stop another such disasterous game that could destabilize our intelligence capabilities (police and secret services) for months or years to come. A country hosting so many international institutions can't afford this. Let's hope this is not the case and some people haven't forgotten that the security battle is not about them personally, but about stopping the terrorists together.

  • Belgian high Justice official wants stricter cyber antiterrorism laws

    The argument goes that the Belgian police forces should have the power to hack terrorist sites or sites used by terrorists to intercept the communications.

    First it can't be about Belgian sites - or most European - because the ISP's can be asked to intercept all communications and transfer them - and this soon for up to 2 years.

    Secondly the argument is a bit strange. Or you allow them to hack socalled terrorist websites (of which some are in the hands of secret police services anyway) and than you have access to memberfiles and administrator actions or you infiltrate those sites and pose as a would-be terrorist and talk to other terrorists - or other infiltrators.

    Thirdly it is a bit strange to have a high official of Justice ask for such rights because it would be going against many laws in other countries if our policemen would be doing that to other sites. The question is also if we would allow other policeforces to hack or infiltrate "terrorist" websites in our country (for example ETA or PKK)

    Fourth the question is what should be done with the information of the innocent passers-by and readers ? Would they also be blacklisted because 'you never know' ? And what should you do with this information ? Exchange it with all concerned (but not necessary democratic) members of Interpol ?

    It is a fact that terrorists use the internet to communicate - like many people for many reasons do every day. But one should think twice before jumping to panic-actions that won't bring any useful information.

    It is more important to have first the translators,  the code crackers and the analysts that can give you the depth and context of the information so that the case-handlers can decide to get someone in action before it is too late. If you have that kind of intelligence and human backoffice, it is a good investment to have a futureproof technological frontwar office. If you don't have that human backoffice, there is no technology that will prevent you from doing nothing while you should act or do the wrong things that you shouldn't have done.