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  • On March 22 2016, ISIS terrorists killed over two dozen people in Brussels - Belgium’s

  • capital. These attacks come just a few days after the capture of Salah Abdeslam, one of

  • the terrorists involved in the recent Paris attacks. Abdeslam was found in a controversial

  • Belgian neighborhood known for Muslim extremism. With terrorist activity both starting and

  • ending in Belgium, we wanted to know, why do so many terrorists come from Belgium?

  • Well, over the past few years, more than 500 Belgians have reportedly left their country

  • to fight alongside Sunni extremist terror groups in Iraq and Syria. And while other

  • European countries face the same issue, Belgium produces considerably more foreign fighters

  • per capita than any other nation in the European Union: Roughly 46 Belgians for every million

  • residents become foreign fighters, compared to just 18 per million for France, and even

  • 28 per million for Palestine.

  • And while there is no clear concrete reason why Belgium has a disproportionate share of

  • extremists, there are a few proposed explanations. One contributing factor is the neighborhood

  • of Molenbeek. This is a predominantly Muslim area, with a very high percentage of foreign

  • residents. This neighborhood has been implicated in at least three terror attacks since 2014.

  • Following the Paris attacks, the now-captured Abdeslam was able to hide with the help of

  • neighborhood residents. Police have been attacked in the neighborhood, and even stabbed by Belgian-born

  • extremists, with little recourse by law enforcement.

  • Another proposed reason focuses on the actual Islamic teachings found in Belgium. Belgian

  • security agencies suggest that Saudi Arabia has a large hand in sponsoring their sect

  • of Islam in Brussels, called Wahhabism. This ultraconservative, fundamentalist branch is

  • followed by terror groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda. The Great Mosque of Brussels, the largest

  • in the country, is sponsored by Saudi Arabia.

  • But one of the biggest factors in Islamic extremism in Europe is the two-sided isolation

  • encountered by foreign residents. As in France, incoming ethnic minorities often find themselves

  • living in poorer regions, and separated from long time residents. In neighborhoods like

  • Molenbeek, the unemployment rate is around 30% and even higher for the youth. And while

  • right wing parties use minorities as a scapegoat for crime, violence, and cultural disruption,

  • left wing parties ignore religious intolerance. Not only does this polarize Muslim communities,

  • but it also further alienates everyday Muslims, who see little support from either side. Without

  • moderate empowerment to stand up against extremism, extremism flourishes.

  • On top of all that, Brussels is a central target for terrorism, as it hosts both the

  • EU and NATO headquarters. In the end, while Belgium does have a disproportionate number

  • of foreign fighters and terrorists, the problems faced by the country are not unique. Other

  • European countries like France and Germany struggle with many of the exact same issues.

  • But Belgium may be the country suffering the most.

  • This isn’t the first time Wahhabism has been tied back to terrorist organizations

  • and it also has a huge influence in Saudi Arabia. Learn more about the strict ideology

  • in our video at the top. To find out why so many foreign fighters have joined ISIS, check

  • out our video at the bottom. Thanks for tuning in to TestTube News! Make sure to subscribe

  • so you can watch new videos every day.

On March 22 2016, ISIS terrorists killed over two dozen people in Brussels - Belgium’s

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