Since the beginning of this year, the Federal Prosecution Service has opened 189 terrorism files or an average of 23 new files of this type each month. This is reported on Thursday in De Tijd and L’Echo. The average this year to date is slightly lower than that of the record year, 2015 (26/month or 313 in total), when numerous Belgians left to fight in Syria, but still far higher than in 2014, when a total of 195 cases were opened.
There are several explanatory reasons. We may observe that the risk of an attack is high and that police forces have never before had as much information on terrorism as they do now.
The new cases reveal a shift towards “home-grown” terrorists, who have never left for Syria, and towards increasingly younger suspects. The two daily publications state that twelve judges from the Federal Prosecution Service are working exclusively on terrorism cases, whilst telephone tapping is seeing a ‘boom’ within the terrorism field.