Federal Government - Belgium Hits Back At Malcolm
Belgium's Ambassador to Australia has rebutted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's critiques of the security situation in Europe, which Malcolm made right after the terrorist bombings that killed at least 34 people in Brussels.
During a speech at the Lowy Institute last night, PM Turnbull criticized Europe's open border "Schengen Zone" which allows for visa-free travel between member states.
"Governments are confronted by a perfect storm of failed or neglected integration, foreign fighters returning from Iraq and Syria, porous borders and intelligence and security apparatus, struggling to keep pace with the scope and breadth of the threat," Mr. Turnbull said. "Recent intelligence indicates ISIL is using the refugee crisis to send operatives into Europe," he added, using the ISIL acronym for Islamic State which claimed responsibility for the bloodshed.
But Belgian Ambassador to Australia Jena-Luc Bodson notes that the terrorists are counting on crises driving wedges between friendly nations and deepening the impact of violence.
"It's dangerous because it's precisely what ISIS wants - that we would make a confusion between terrorism and migrants and between terrorism and Islam," Ambassador Bodson told the ABC, using the other acronym for the terrorists. He also points out that several recent terrorist attacks in Europe involved terrorists who were second-generations in their home countries.
"My view is that the terrorists who committed the latest attacks and in Paris and in Belgium are European-raised and born. Maybe from foreign origins, but they are Europeans," he said. "So it has nothing to do with the refugee crisis and I think that is the main danger to assimilate that."
Indeed, the two brothers identified as suicide bombers - 27-year old Khalid el-Bakraoui and 29-year old Ibrahim el-Bakraoui - were both Brussels-born. The alleged bomb-maker Najim Laachraoui was born in Morocco, but raised in the Schaerbeek neighbourhood of Brussels where he attended a Roman Catholic high school.
But Ambassador Bodson believes Brussels will rise again: "Not to normalcy but a new equilibrium."
Belgium's ambassador in Australia Jean-Luc Bodson is confident Brussels will recover, much like Paris.
'Not to normalcy but a new equilibrium,' he told AAP.- See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/2016/03/24/no-country-immune-from-attack-says-bishop.html#sthash.mNuugJif.dpuf