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Belgium to hire 1,000 more police to combat radicalism

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Brussels | Fri, February 5, 2016 | 09:38 pm
Belgium to hire 1,000 more police to combat radicalism Armed police guard a street in Brussels, Nov. 16, 2015. The Belgian government on Friday adopted a plan to combat rising Islamic radicalism in some neighborhoods of Brussels by using local police to monitor suspicious individuals, mosques and prayer rooms. (AP/Geert Vanden Wijngaert) (AP/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Armed police guard a street in Brussels, Nov. 16, 2015. The Belgian government on Friday adopted a plan to combat rising Islamic radicalism in some neighborhoods of Brussels by using local police to monitor suspicious individuals, mosques and prayer rooms. (AP/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

The Belgian government has approved a plan to combat Islamic radicalism and the threat of extremist violence by hiring 1,000 new police officers over the next four years.

The plan, presented Friday to reporters by Interior Minister Jan Jambon, calls for adding 300 officers this year, and more than 500 by 2017.

Jambon says 300 new officers will be added in Molenbeek and other neighborhoods with a history of radical Islamist activity. Ninety-six police investigators will be hired, and 260 TV cameras positioned to monitor movements on the highways.

Earlier reports spoke of just 100 new officers being hired.

The November attacks that killed 130 people in Paris were staged from neighboring Belgium, and a subsequent official investigation revealed how ineffective the surveillance of suspected radicals in the country has often been.

Four of the Paris attackers, including suspected ringleader Abdelhamid Abaooud, lived in the Brussels commune of Molenbeek, one of eight areas covered by the government's initiative.

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