Monday 26 September 2016

Belgian college's concerns over Paris attacker ignored - newspapers

Reuters

Published 26/12/2015 | 12:14

Belgian suicide bomber Bilal Hadfi
Belgian suicide bomber Bilal Hadfi

A police commission is interviewing staff at a Brussels college after education authorities failed to act on concerns that a student who later became one of the Paris suicide bombers had been radicalised, two Belgian newspapers said on Saturday.

  • Go To

Bilal Hadfi, 20, named as one of the attackers who detonated a suicide bomb outside the Stade de France in Paris on Nov. 13, attended the Anneessens-Funck college in Brussels until he dropped out in February to travel to Syria.

Bilal Hadfi has been identified as one of three attackers at the Stade de France (AP)
Bilal Hadfi has been identified as one of three attackers at the Stade de France (AP)

The two Belgian Dutch-language newspapers, De Morgen and Het Laatste Nieuws, cited documents they said showed staff were seriously concerned about Hadfi's extremist views, which were evident in the classroom.

The reports did not elaborate on the exact nature of the documents but said they showed the college director informed the Brussels education board in April that Hadfi, a French national, had travelled to Syria.

"Committee P" (le Comite Permanent de Controle des Services de Police), as the Belgian police oversight authority is known, is investigating why the information was not passed on to police, the newspapers said.

Neither the college, Committee P nor the Brussels education board were immediately available for comment.

Paris terror suspects: (Clockwise from top left) Salah Abdeslam, Bilal Hadfi, Ahmad Almohamad, Omar Mostefai, Samy Amimour and Abdelhamid Abaaoud
Paris terror suspects: (Clockwise from top left) Salah Abdeslam, Bilal Hadfi, Ahmad Almohamad, Omar Mostefai, Samy Amimour and Abdelhamid Abaaoud

While there has been little hard evidence of intelligence and tip-offs falling between the cracks before the Paris attacks, Belgium has faced international accusations that underfunding and political in-fighting had left its security services the weakest link in Europe's counter-terrorism defences.

It was not clear when Belgian security officials became aware that Hadfi has travelled to Syria.

But on his return to Europe he evaded the intelligence services. They bugged the apartment he had been registered at, but he failed to show up, so could not be traced.

Read more here:

Reuters

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in World News