Tags: America's Forum | Derek Harvey | Belgium | jihadists | terrorists | ISIS | France

Derek Harvey: Belgium Plot Proves Jihadists Will Target Anyone

By    |   Friday, 16 Jan 2015 10:46 AM

The roundup of suspected terrorists throughout Europe, particularly in Belgium, is proof that radical Islamists are targeting anyone who does not share their beliefs, regardless of foreign policy, according to retired Army Col. Derek Harvey, a former adviser to David Petraeus and the director for the Global Initiative on Civil Society & Conflict.

"There’s been an intent and a capability to strike at the West, Europe and the United States," Harvey said Friday during an appearance on "America’s Forum" on Newsmax TV.

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"Belgium has not been a country that has been in the crosshairs of Islamists for a while. They don’t have the policies, they don’t have the support for Israel. They have taken a very neutral stance in order to avoid being a target.

"So when you look at the reasons for, people say, well it’s our policies in the region, it’s what we’ve been doing. It’s our fault. Take a look at Belgium," Harvey said. "Belgium doesn’t fall into any of those categories, yet they were going to strike Belgium authorities and Belgium civilians.

"It should make us realize it’s not about our policies."

Following the deadly terror attacks in Paris last week, police in Europe have been raiding suspected terror cells.

Some two dozen people with suspected links to the Islamic State (ISIS) were in police custody on Friday. Belgian police killed two people in a firefight and arrested another. Officials believe the trio were plotting an attack. Thirteen others have been detained by Belgian officials.

French authorities have taken into custody two people they suspect are connected to the Belgian terror plot, and 12 others near Paris were being questioned about providing logistical support to the three terrorists involved in last week’s siege at Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher market.

German officials raided 11 properties and made two arrests Friday morning. The men in custody are suspected of recruiting fighters for the Islamic State and providing financial support.

"The arrests and the investigations may have caused some groups to start to either flee or to accelerate their plans for an attack," said Harvey. "The challenge here for us is you’ve got so many dispersed elements, individual cells that are not connected to others, they’re autonomous.

"They get some instructions, some guidance and then they go and they settle in and they wait for an appropriate time. But they work with criminal gangs, organized crime, smugglers, black marketers in that underworld and they’re not all ideologically committed to Islamists.

"There are a lot of enablers there and that gives them a lot of capability to settle in and resource themselves in these communities."

Harvey said he thinks that estimates of some 20 terror existing cells, totaling 120 and 200 people, are very low.

"They are underestimating the cells and the individuals that are supportive of ISIS and al-Qaida and other jihadist smaller groups that have the intent," he said. "That is just a swag. It is not based on any real hard analysis."

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The roundup of suspected terrorists throughout Europe, particularly in Belgium, is proof that radical Islamists are targeting anyone who does not share their beliefs, regardless of foreign policy, retired Army Col. Derek Harvey says on Newsmax TV.
Derek Harvey, Belgium, jihadists, terrorists, ISIS, France
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Friday, 16 Jan 2015 10:46 AM
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