Figures from the Ministry of Finance indicate that the Belgian state has frozen a total of €82,407 from accounts of individuals or entities linked to terrorism. These include jihadists who left for Iraq or Syria and the individuals involved in the Brussels and Paris attacks. The information was reported in the Sudpresse publications on Thursday.
Asset freezing aims to prevent all financial support to individuals who would be found guilty of terrorist-related activities. The spokeswoman for the Minister of Finances, Johan Van Overtveldt (N-VA), stated, “Currently the national list contains 271 individuals targeted under the Royal Decree dated 28 December 2006, relating to specific restrictive measures against certain people and entities. The measures are part of the fight against financing terrorist activities.”
By virtue of this decree, 294 accounts have been frozen since 2016. The minister’s department indicates, “From a financial viewpoint, there are means at our disposal, but the fight against terrorism is a matter which cuts across various departments.”
Younes Abaaoud, aged 17, was among the individuals whose assets were frozen. Younes is the brother of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged head of operations for the Paris attacks, who was killed afterwards. Younes, had stated from Syria that he would return to avenge his brother’s death. Mohamed Abrini, the “Man in the Hat” and his brother, Soulaimane, who was killed in November 2015 in Syria, also feature on the list.
In addition, individuals who had, in some way or other, provided financial support to the suicide bombers in the Brussels and Paris attacks had their accounts frozen.