One police half-timer monitoring jihadi fighters on internet

One half-time worker, that is the only person that Belgium's police central anti-terrorism unit has been able to deploy to monitor the publication of radical messages on the internet and keep tabs on the internet activity of returning jihadi fighters. The issue is now being raised by the police services watchdog, the Committee P.
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The lack of staff undertaking this task is being put down to staff shortages. The police watchdog says that there is a "horrendous" lack of capacity when it comes to monitoring the internet. The Committee points to the fact that it has been shown time and time again what a big role the internet and social media play in terrorist activity.

The 'Internet Intelligence Support Unit' of Belgian police is staffed by one half-time worker. Last year, when the largest number of Belgian youngsters ever left to fight in Syria, the unit's team leader and several other staff members left the unit.

Belgian Home Minister Jan Jambon, who was reportedly aware of the situation at the unit, has pointed out that such monitoring is also a job for Belgium's state intelligence service. Mr Jambon has now set up a new unit with up to ten officers, but this will only become operational on 1 January. The need to hire people with a distinct profile and the requirement for a new legal basis are blamed for the slow start.