How Belgium Became Home to Recent Terror Plots (2)

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September 27th, 2012 – Some weeks ago the Belgian Senator Nele Lijnen said that she intends to launch a discussion at the Belgian Senate regarding the fact that the terrorists in Syria possess weapons made in Belgium.

But Belgium is not only responsible for sending weapons for terrorist bomb attacks in Syria.

The Belgian State Security knows that Belgian jihadists are going to Syria for organizing these bomb attacks.

The U.S. and its allies work all on the same way: They send money and weapons to the jihadists coming from their country to carry out bomb attacks in Syria.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who has been posted twice to the Republic of Korea embassy in Washington, D.C. and served as Director-General for American Affairs in 1990–1992, conceals these matters and talks about a ‘civil war’ all the time.

NATO’s headquarters are in Brussels…

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August 3th, 2012

The Belgian State Security “has not confirmed” the rumor that Belgian jihadists are fighting in Syria. Thursday, the newspapers ‘Het Belang van Limburg’ and ‘Gazet van Antwerpen’ argued the opposite: “The State Security confirmed the presence of” Belgium”.

It is uncommon, that the Belgian State Security issued a statement Thursday to correct statements that were attributed to him: “The State Security (…) confirms that Syria is a destination for international Islamist fighters. But the State Security has not been confirmed (…) that there are Belgians among them. ”    In short, if the Security denies to have confirmed does not mean – this is important – it can deny the information.

Originally Flemish newspapers relied on a report by Reuters, dated July 31, citing statements from “several rebel commanders in the north-west Syria,” according to which “Muslims in Great Britain, Belgium and the United States had joined the Free Syrian Army (SLA)”. On July 13th, Reuters pointed out a flood “of thousands of assault rifles Belgian FN FAL was in the hands of the rebels”.

In its annual reports, the Belgian State Security explains how and why she follows people attracted by fighting abroad: there was attention for Iraq, then, from 2010, to the movement towards Pakistan-Afghanistan border area; Finally, most recently, to new locations: “If the Afghan-Pakistan area, more than Iraq, was still popular in 2010 with the majority of volunteers for jihad”, the Belgian State Security wrote in his latest report, “some of them began to plot their way to Yemen, Somalia and the Caucasus”. And Syria now? “Obviously. Where they are beaten, those who return and who actually participated in the fighting have gained knowledge on how to handle weapons, strategy and tactics of war,” noted the Belgian State Security yesterday. “This is the central reason for the Belgian concern”.

Alain Lallemand, Le Soir


Photo: Former Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt and  the former Syrian General Isis (‘Free Syrian Army’) in the European Parliament. Verhofstadt, leader of the European liberals, who was pleading  for military interventions in Libya and Syria, pleaded there for the delivery of weapons to the so called Syrian ‘opposition’.  Verhofstadt has good contacts with the European weapons and arms lobby. He is also board member of the Brussels based multinational Sofina (oil- and gas industry)

http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/profit-and-proliferation-part-2-will-belgian-arms-end-up-in-syria/?_r=0

http://diversdiverse.skynetblogs.be/archive/2013/10/22/latest-news-syria-belgian-weapons-7963660.html

http://www.ipisresearch.be/publications_detail.php?id=387

 

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SYRIA: Belgian weapons for terrorists

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Belgian Senator to Launch Discussion at Senate on Possession of Belgian Weapons by Armed Opposition in Syria

Aug 14, 2012  – BRUSSELS, (SANA) – Belgian Senator Nele Lijnen said that she intends to launch a discussion at the Belgian Senate regarding the fact that the armed opposition in Syria possess weapons made in Belgium.

Lijnen will pose several questions on the issue as soon as the Senate and the Chamber of Representatives resume their work next month after the end of the summer vacation.

She stressed the need to uncover the fate of exported Belgian weapons, and that many questions must be answered as to how the weapons reached the armed opposition to Syria and to whom these weapons were actually sold and when.

Several sources indicate that the armed opposition is using Belgian weapons, with photos being published that show Belgian weapons in the hands of militants in areas in Damascus’ suburbs.

It should be noted that Belgian weapons are exported to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which are supplying the Syrian opposition with weapons.

H. Sabbagh

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Photo: M249 Automatic weapon

Contractor:

FN Manufacturing

Cost per item: about $4,000

Size of 2007 contract: $48.3 million

The Army’s primary machine gun can spit 850 bullets per minute. FN Herstal developed the gun in the early 1980s for the Pentagon, which wanted a lightweight automatic weapon (the one here is 17 pounds). The Belgian company’s South Carolina factory makes about 550 a month for the Army.

( Skynetblog ‘Divers’: http://diversdiverse.skynetblogs.be/archive/2013/10/22/latest-news-syria-belgian-weapons-7963660.html )

SYRIA: Belgian weapons for ‘opposition’

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Profit and Proliferation, Part 2: Will Belgian Arms End Up in Syria?

April 6, 2012

In a post yesterday, At War looked at how legal arms sales by Belgium’s main weapons manufacturer, FN Herstal, became a troubling factor in the Libyan conflict over the past year. Now there are concerns about where those weapons may turn up next.

Does Belgium share any responsibility in trying to secure Libya’s arms? That depends on whom you ask, and what you mean by “arms.”

Photo: FN Herstal cartridges from 1977 in a magazine for an FN FAL assault rifle. Tripoli, February 2012.

Belgium promised 225,000 euros (about $300,000) to an international program led by the United States that is intended to secure the loose stock of heat-seeking anti-aircraft missiles in Libya. These weapons were provided to Libya not by Belgium but by former Eastern bloc states. In 2013, a future phase of this program could focus on securing small arms, which Belgium did supply to Libya. While Belgium doesn’t exclude participating in it, the Walloon government, which is FN Herstal’s sole shareholder, has categorically refused to get involved. Its president, Rudy Demotte, argued that the problem was exclusively Libya’s and that his government did not want to enter a “neocolonial logic.”

But Belgium could be confronted with another problem in terms of small arms. Many Libyans say that Qatar, France, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates provided Libyan rebels with weapons during the recent war. Some of these countries are FN Herstal customers, raising the question of whether Belgian small arms, exported to countries that agreed not to re-export them, were nonetheless re-exported.

On Feb. 26, 2011, the United Nations voted the Resolution 1970, imposing an arms embargo in Libya. Nevertheless, in the spring and summer of 2011, Qatar started shipping military material to the rebels in Benghazi. Some of the weapons shipped by Qatar could well have been FN FAL assault rifles produced in Belgium, according to anti-Qaddafi fighters who received them.

Several fighters said in interviews that their FN FALs were supplied by Qatar. Also, a Libyan operator who worked at the Benina airport in Benghazi in April 2011 said he remembered crates from Qatar full of Belgian FALs. Those particular FALs match the weapons sold by Belgium to the Qatar armed forces. It was impossible to trace serial numbers, however, as this procedure requires a special Interpol request. The Walloon authorities as well as FN Herstal declined to comment.

Belgium’s federal authorities insisted they did not receive any re-export request from Qatar, but also said they have no intention to investigate further.

“The Belgian interpretation of the arms embargo is strict: no weapons were to be supplied,” said Michel Malherbe, a spokesman for the Belgian Foreign Affairs. In this interpretation, if the anti-Qaddafi fighers’ accounts are accurate, then Qatar potentially breached the terms of the U.N. resolution, and Belgium’s refusal to investigate is at odds with the position of one of its neighbors.

Switzerland, upon seeing military material it sold to Qatar in 2009 reappear in Libya in 2011, suspended its arms-export licenses to Qatar from July to December 2011.

The European Common Position on Arms Sales, adopted in 2008, stipulates that the selling country has to assess “the existence of a risk that the equipment will be diverted within the buyer country or re-exported under undesirable conditions.” Qatar, according to the Libyan fighters’ accounts, presents such a risk, as it re-exported military goods to third parties without authorization.

As the fighting continues in Syria, this issue could become more pressing. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, the Qatari prime minister, declared on Feb. 27 that he was favorable to supplying weapons to the Syrian rebels in their fight against Bashar al-Assad. “We have to do what it takes to help them,” he said during an official visit to Norway, “including giving them weapons so that they could defend themselves.”

The same position was adopted by Saudi Arabia. Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, declared that humanitarian help was “not enough” and that arming Syrian rebels was “an excellent idea.” (On the other hand, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton voiced concerns that arming the Syrian opposition could also end up helping Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups get weapons more easily.)

Saudi Arabia is the second-most-important Belgian small-arms customer, behind the United States. This puts Belgian authorities into a difficult position: “The European code and the new Belgian law we tried to install are clear: we cannot export weapons to a country that doesn’t respect non re-export clauses,” said Sophie Paczkowski, spokesperson for the Walloon Region.

On March 9, the Walloon government invited Belgian federal authorities to ask the European Union partners about the Syrian situation. This request was made ahead of the meeting of an European Union Council Working Group on Conventional Arms Exports on April 26. The Walloon region first decided to suspend issuing new arms export licenses for Qatar and Saudi Arabia. On March 20, however, the region reversed its decision. Until the working group’s gathering, Wallonia will adapt its license policy to the decisions of other European Union countries.

Odds are that little will change after the meeting: no formal decisions will be made at this level. “For questions of this nature, it works more like a consultative body,” said Roy Isbister, from the violence watch group Saferworld. “Countries have an opportunity to ask their E.U. partners what they think about a particular issue, but they don’t have to, and anyway any decision is still then taken at the national level. The problem is that the European Common Position allows for multiple interpretations. It is the selling country that has to assess by itself, following its own interpretation of the criteria, including the risk of arms diversion, when it comes to selling military goods.”

The question remaining is: What will the European countries decide on their own national levels? If the arms licenses to Qatar and Saudi Arabia are not suspended, the sector’s regulations will prove to be no more than empty shells. If they are suspended, FN Herstal loses one of its bigger customers, and the whole Belgian weapons industry is endangered. Regarding Belgian and European arms interests, the Arab uprisings look more and more like a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. The Walloon region will not be able to indefinitely shift its responsibilities onto its European neighbors, and will ultimately face a critically tough decision.

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Photos: A Belgian FN FAL assault rifle said to have been supplied by Qatar during the war. Benghazi, February 2012 – FN Herstal cartridges from 1977 in a magazine for an FN FAL assault rifle. Tripoli, February 2012 – Former Belgian Prime Minister and leader of the European liberals, who was pleading for military interventions in Libya and Syria, pleading for the delivery of weapons to the so called Syrian ‘opposition’.  Verhofstadt has good contacts with the European weapons ans arms lobby.

http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/profit-and-proliferation-part-2-will-belgian-arms-end-up-in-syria/?_r=0

http://www.ipisresearch.be/publications_detail.php?id=387

(Info: ‘Divers’ http://diversdiverse.skynetblogs.be/belgian-weapons/ )

Google Belgium

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 10/4/2013

Internet giant Google is investing an extra 300 million euros at its data centre in the Walloon town of Dour near Mons. In time this will result in the creation of 200 long-trem jobs.

Google made the announcement during a visit of the Belgian Prime Minister, Elio Di Rupo (Francophone socialist). Google’s data centre in Dour is one of the three largest operated by the company in the continent of Europe.

The 300 million will finance a major three-year expansion programme. Google hardware operations manager Freddy Bonhomme told the Belgian press agency Belga: “Work has just started. Between 300 and 350 people are being hired.”

Employment levels may fall after the project is completed.

http://www.deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/news/1.1600410

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On 3.14.2012, America’s Defense Department’s best-known geek announced that she was leaving the Pentagon for a job at Google…

(Info:  ‘Latest News Syria’ https://latestnewssyria.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/latest-news-syria-censorship-google/ )

Israeli settlements – Belgium

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As a reminder: Former Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene was involved in the financial support to the Israeli settlements
In 2010, Dexia, a major Belgian-French bank, was still financing Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) despite official assurances that such loans have ceased. Jean-Luc Dehaene, a former Belgian prime minister who had become Dexia’s chairman, announced in 2009 that the bank had not approved any new loans to authorities located in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank since June 2008.
Jean-Luc Dehaene deceased a few years ago. Dexia split in ‘Dexia’ and a new creation called ‘Belfius’.
Belfius inherited 12.5 billion euro of Dexia. The state bank Belfius made in 2013 a profit of 445 million euro and profits doubled in 2015…

Belgium: protests against the government

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Belgium: Strike in Antwerp, Limburg, Hainault, Luxembourg Provinces… Services and industry will be disrupted today as the trades unions stage provincial protests against the government’s austerity programme. Meanwhile, one of the big rail unions has announced plans to strike for 24 hours on 11 December.
The wind-down started in the port of Antwerp on Sunday. At 5pm pilots commenced industrial action as part of the regional day of action. Navigation also came to a standstill in the ports of Ghent and Zeebrugge.

Some 33 ships were preparing to leave Antwerp with a further 30 ready to sail into Flemish ports.