The Belgian city of Antwerp is monitoring 557 radicalized individuals, and it is now calling for more resources to prevent future terror attacks.
Antwerp Mayor Bart De Wever said 189 of the individuals are considered “really dangerous.” Almost 70 of them are currently in Syria, while 16 have returned from the Middle East.
“There are also a group of 350 people who are bordering on involvement with the Salafi milieu,” De Wever told television station Een Wednesday, according to The Brussels Times. “Therefore in Antwerp, we are actively monitoring 557 individuals.”
De Wever wants more resources allocated toward infiltrating officers and tracking suspects. Places of worship “where hatred is preached” should be easier to close down, according to the mayor.
The local government is confident it’s doing a good job to protect its citizens. De Wever warned that it would be much harder if outsiders came to the city to carry out an attack.
“I cannot stop anyone from coming by train from Molenbeek [in Brussels] or by bus from Marseille to attack the Jewish community,” he said.
Belgium is home to one of the largest jihadi communities in western Europe. The capital of Brussels suffered a major attack in March 2016, when a group of suicide bombers killed 32 people. The main train station in the city narrowly escaped an attack Tuesday after a man failed to pull of a suicide attack.
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