Tuesday 15th of March in Belgium: terrorists suspected to be involved in last year’s Paris attack get in to a shootout with Belgium’s elite CT unit the GSGU and French Police units in a joint counter terrorism operation that went wrong. The police were trying to break into a flat in Brussels near the hotbed area of Molenbeek before coming under fire from terrorists who had barricaded themselves inside the flat.
Police had gotten intel of a flat near the Molenbeek area as part of their continuing effort to bring those responsible for the Paris attacks last year to justice. At about 3 pm they went to search flat, the intel they had suggesting that the flat was empty only to be greeted by a hail of bullets from inside. Four officers are believed to be injured with one officer fighting for his life after getting shot in the head, also a police dog was killed during the raid. At least one militant had a AK-47 firing the devastating 7.62 round through the front as police made entry. Up to two militants are believed to be on the run after the gun battle and Belgium authorities have denied that the dead militant is the Salah Abdeslam the mastermind behind the Paris attacks last year.
School kids and business owners in the area were ordered to stay inside while the neighborhood was on lock down with two of the militants unaccounted for. The area was swarmed by police in a mix of civilian clothing and military fatigues, Snipers were crawling and running along roof tops to get a better angle in which to engage the terrorist still shooting at police.
Concerns remain high about the level of terrorist activity in Belgium and such activity prompted the cancellation of the new year’s eve fireworks display. Such an event could draw the Jihadists out and casualties would be too high. But once again the Jihadists seem to evade the police in their own back yard, one must ask how are they able to move in and out of Belgium so easy?
Well, like I have said in the past, open borders remain a major issue, with Belgium being so small it would not take long for them to be out of the country. Whichever way you look at this operation it went wrong with the incorrect intel from the start. These guys were fighting an uphill battle from onset of the operation. As a result, four are wounded and two of the terrorists are on the run.