Brussels municipalities join forces against radicalisation

The Brussels-Capital Region will play a role in coordinating measures taken by local municipal authorities to tackle the radicalisation of young Muslims. The decision that the regional authority should play a role in the fight against radicalisation was taken at meeting attended by the Head of the Brussels Regional Government Rudi Vervoort (photo), the Mayors of Schaarbeek, the City of Brussels, Sint-Jans-Molenbeek and Anderlecht and the Chief Commissioners of four of Brussels’ six police zones.

A coordination group is to be set up where information can be shared on issues such as how to deal with radicalised youngsters.

The Mayors of the four municipalities will meet regularly to discuss issues such as prevention, exchange of information and how best to tackle the problem of religious extremism.

Website to advice parents, family and friends

Those working in the field that come into regular contact with youngsters will be given advice on how to best deal with young people that have become radicalised.

A website will also be launched that the parents, family and friends of jihadi that have left for (or returned from) Syria can consult. They can use the site to seek psychological or legal advice.

Speaking after the meeting, the Head of the Brussels Regional Government Rudi Vervoort (Francophone socialist) said that: "We still need to finalise things and work out the details of how we’re going to exchange information.”

“Do we have the situation under control? I don’t know.”

The Mayors of the four Brussels municipalities from which young jihadi have left for (or returned to from) Syria also want to know what the Federal Government expects from them with regards to lists containing information on jihadi.

Currently they often don’t know what action they should take or checks they should carry out if they have a jihadi on their patch.

The Mayor of Brussels Yvan Mayeur (Francophone socialist) told journalists that "Do we have the situation under control? I don’t know.”

Around 70 people that are some way liked to Islamist groups in Syria and can be linked to radicalisation are currently living in the City of Brussels.