Belgium maintains vigilance but sees no concrete evidence of ISKP terror threat

Belgian security services have indicated that they do not believe there are any concrete terrorist plots originating from Islamic State in the Khorasan Province (ISKP), the terror group that claimed responsibility for the recent concert hall attack in Moscow.

Deputy prime minister and Justice minister Paul Van Tigchelt (Open VLD) said this during an interview on Tuesday with De Ochtend on Radio 1. He did, however, acknowledge the growing influence of ISKP.

Following the Moscow attack on Friday, France opted to elevate its threat level to its highest degree, while Belgium maintened level 3 out of 4. "I would like to point out that level 3 is already very high and means that a threat is serious and probable," Van Tigchelt said. "Increasing the level would mean that there is an imminent and concrete threat, but there is currently none."

While ISKP remains under surveillance in Belgium, Van Tigchelt said there were no known specific terrorist schemes in the country. "Individuals exhibiting potential for violent extremism are subject to monitoring," he said.

ISKP has gained traction internationally, particularly evident in exchanges with American counterparts. Originating in Central Asia and spanning nations such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, ISKP's ideology has drawn followers regardless of direct involvement. "We refer to them as 'lone actors'," Van Tigchelt said.

He referred to the ideological clash between the West's liberal values and ISKP's extremist doctrine, saying, "We, with our liberal values, stand as the antithesis to IS."

A soldier patrols in a Brussels street © PHOTO EMMANUEL DUNAND EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP

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