Share article:

    New comprehensive database on Belgian fighters in Syria

    ©Belga
    ©Belga

    The Threat Assessment Coordination Body (OCAM) will have a new “dynamic” database available to monitor Belgian fighters in Syria and would-be jihadists from January 1st, 2016, revealed the daily De Tijd from information contained in a policy memorandum by Home Secretary Jan Jambon (N-VA) on Tuesday. The names of every Belgian fighter – nicknamed “foreign terrorist fighters” by the security services – are currently listed on a central roster. OCAM adds every potential suspect suggested by intelligence services to this list. In May, there were 924 names on the list, divided into 8 categories (people currently fighting in Syria, People who have returned from Syria, those whose attempts to travel to Syria were thwarted, thos who are planning to travel to Syria, etc).

    The new database will add the threat level for each person on the list, as assessed by OCAM, so that keeping track of each fighter and would-be jihadist is easier for security services in Belgium.

    The main issue with this list is that it is just that, a list of names, and police forces do not necessarily know what to do with them. It is not always clear which service should monitor which suspect. The list is also flawed because it is difficult to update and to complement with additional data on each suspect.

    Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)