‘Weak link’ gets tough: After Paris, Belgium raises spy game
Islamic State’s attack on Paris has triggered shifts in great power strategy in the Middle East, but just as significant for Europeans may be change afoot inside an office block near Brussels’ Gare du Nord station.
The Belgian capital was home to some of the Paris attackers and a logistical planning base for the operation. Dubbed by some “Jihad Central”, the city was locked down for days for fear local radicals could strike at home.
Now, stung by international accusations that underfunding and political in-fighting had left its security services the weakest link in Europe’s counter-terrorism defenses, Belgium is ploughing resources into an intelligence agency that faces the biggest concentration of Syria-linked militants in the West.
Staffing for the Surete de l’Etat (State Security), of which little is publicly known beyond its address in an anonymous federal government office building near Brussels’ northern rail terminus, could rise by a quarter, according to government budget projections reviewed by Reuters. Read More