In three years, Belgium has blocked the assets of 279 terrorists and persons suspected of terrorism, De Tijd reported on Wednesday.
Although this could have been done from 2006, it was only after the attacks of March 22 2016 that the Michel government decided to freeze assets. In May of that year, the council of ministers had for the first time ordered the freezing of the assets of two Belgians who went to fight in Syria.
The freeze takes effect without court intervention and applies to money, accounts, cheques, all documents of value, goods and other “economic resources.”
Three years on and 279 terrorists or suspected terrorists have been affected by the measures. Among these individuals is Mohamed Abrini, “the man with the hat” in the attack that targetted Zaventem airport in March 2016.
In April, Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi, who is thought to have ordered a Belgo-Iranian couple to carry out an attack at the time of the ‘Free Iran’ conference in Paris in 2018, turned to the supreme court to have the freeze on his assets lifted, arguing there was an “urgent necessity.”