Day 6

Why Belgium is failing in the fight against terrorism

This week, Brussels was subjected to a citywide lockdown as security forces took over the streets in response to a high-level terrorism threat. But the effectiveness of Belgium's anti-terror efforts has come under fire from critics in Europe and abroad. Brent speaks to Ryan Heath, Politico's senior correspondent in Brussels.
Molenbeek, the Brussels neighbourhood critics say has become a 'nest' for Islamist extremists. (Pascal Leblond/CBC)

Brussels was on high alert this week as the city was plunged into a four-day lockdown under threat of suspected terror attacks. The security threat level in Brussels was lowered one notch on Wednesday from the maximum level of four. 
But tensions in the city remain high as counter-terror raids continue.

Authorities have remained tight-lipped about their investigation throughout. Their efforts have yet to uncover any weaponry or explosives — and the suspected terrorists behind the Paris attacks remain at large. The apparent ineffectiveness of Belgium's anti-terror efforts has put the state under international scrutiny. Belgium has produced more jihadist fighters per-capita than any other European nation, and many are asking why it's taken the authorities so long to act.

Ryan Heath is a senior correspondent for Politico. He's been living in Brussels for almost eight years, most recently on the outskirts of Molenbeek, the city district now notorious for harbouring terrorists. Ryan joins Brent to discuss his surreal experience during this week's lockdown, and why he believes government dysfunction is to blame for the state's ongoing terrorism crisis.