Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 12:25 GMT

2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Belgium

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 5 August 2010
Cite as United States Department of State, 2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Belgium, 5 August 2010, available at: [accessed 31 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Belgian authorities are concerned with potential terrorist activities by domestic extremists, Islamic extremists, anarchists, and militant animal rights groups. International groups of concern to Belgium included extremists from al-Qa'ida and the Democratic People's Party of Kurdistan (DHKP/C). The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is a known presence in Belgium and has television production studios in Denderleeuw. A fine levied on the studio several years ago did not impact the production facility significantly.

The inter-ministerial College of Security and Intelligence meets regularly and makes reports and recommendations to the Belgian government. The College is chaired by the Prime Minister's Security Advisor. The Coordinating Body for Threat Analysis (OCAM/OCAD) develops common threat analyses that are discussed in the College. The College includes representatives from OCAM/OCAD, the State Security Service, the Federal Police, Customs, and the Ministries of Transport, Finance, Interior, Justice, and Foreign Affairs.

Belgian authorities have the ability to create a national list of terrorist entities, separate from UN and EU lists and coordinated by OCAM, including financiers and suspected financiers of terrorism. This information allowed 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. Belgium cooperated with the United States on security programs such as the Container Security Initiative, Megaports, and export controls.

Prosecutors continued to investigate the case of five suspected terrorists arrested in December 2008. Another nine persons taken into custody at the same time were released shortly thereafter due to lack of evidence. Belgium ratified the U.S.-EU Multilateral Legal Assistance and Extradition Agreements in July 2009. Belgium's prosecutors are cooperating with the United States in the extradition of Nizar Trabelsi, who was convicted of plotting to attack American soldiers at Kleine Brogel Air Base in Belgium.

Belgium's troop commitment to NATO ISAF operations in Afghanistan increased from about 250 troops in 2008 to nearly 540 in 2009. Belgians provided security for Kabul airport, operated and maintained six F-16s in Kandahar, ran an Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team in Kunduz, and participated in a German-run Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).

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