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TOO MANY TERRORISTS OF BELGIAN ORIGIN, TO FEW POLICE FORCE

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THEME:   LIFE STYLE, WORLD

By Serge K | March 22, 2016 8:13 pm

As any terrorist attack the March 22 in Brussels were shocking, but not surprising. They reinforced what many have known for years: Belgium has a serious problem with terrorism.

Security officials and terrorists always have been fighting to stay ahead of each other. When airlines and governments made it harder to hijack planes, terrorists found new ways to destroy aircraft. Security checkpoints are designed to keep terrorists and weapons off planes, and for the most part they have worked since the September 2001 attacks.

But making a fortress out of the airport itself became a vulnerable.

Belgium has a sharply fragmented system of policing and justice. In Brussels alone there are six police forces covering 19 communes; an extraordinary system for a city of just under 1.5 million people. While the federal police system includes a counter-terrorism unit of around 500 officers, this seems simply insufficient when compared to the estimated scale of the problem.

"You can’t have police everyplace,” said Douglas R. Laird

“You can’t have police everyplace,” said Douglas R. Laird

The question now is whether Europe can resist compromising its commitment to freedom as it strives to improve its ability to deal with terrorism.

You can’t have police everyplace,” said Douglas R. Laird, former director of security at Northwest Airlines and now head of Laird & Associates, Inc.

More outright formidable pressure on terror bring more unexpected and even more sophisticated in its simplicity respond.

At Israel’s Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, all cars are stopped on the way in. Some are searched by armed guards and license plates are scanned by a computer.

Uniformed and undercover armed security personnel are stationed inside and outside the terminals. Cameras — some in plain sight, some hidden — provide additional surveillance. Travelers are subject to profiling and questioning about the purpose of their travel, their personal background and their luggage.

That is what will be done in every tiniest airport, bus or train.

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