Number of extremists in Belgium drops slightly
In 2022, 80 new extremists and terrorists entered the database of the Coordination Unit for Threat Analysis (CUTA), its annual report shows. At the same time, around 90 were also removed from CUTA's database. This is done when there is a clear process of reintegration into society.
Of the approximately 700 extremists and terrorists on the list, 87 per cent have jihadist beliefs. Just under 10 per cent have links to right-wing extremism. The threat from left-wing extremists is 2 per cent. The remaining extremists are monitored partly because of anti-establishment sentiments following the pandemic or politics abroad.
"The threat is constantly changing," says CUTA director Gert Vercauteren. "That makes it necessary to remain vigilant and continue intensive cooperation between partner services. I want to stress that this work is never finished. We must not slow down in sharing information or in consulting. Moreover, it is at least as important to become more resilient as a society against extremist propaganda. Online radicalisation in particular still poses a major challenge."
CUTA is the independent Belgian centre of knowledge and expertise in charge of assessing the terrorist and extremist threat in Belgium and against its citizens and interests abroad. Its database was founded in 2016 after the Brussels terrorist attacks.
© BELGA PHOTO LUC CLAESSEN