France-Belgium deepen cooperation to fight Islamic terrorism

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe held an extensive meeting his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel, as the two heads of government discussed their joint effort to fight terrorism. The meeting comes after a decision made last October, in which France and Belgium agreed to deepen their cooperation to fight terrorism, Islamic radicalization and take on minors returning from combat zones in Iraq and Syria. Security services in Belgium and France have faced growing criticism, both domestic and international, for intelligence failures and their inadequate response to heinous terror attacks that plagued Brussels, Paris and Nice. Among others, a senior Belgian police officer told TV7, on condition of anonymity, that “a Brussels-based Islamic State cell, that was in police custody before getting released for lack of judicial tools, was involved in deadly attacks on Paris in 2015 that killed 130 people and on Brussels in 2016 in which 32 murdered.”