The war in Iraq continues, and Europe continues to be a front despite the distance.
Belgian police raided homes in four cities Wednesday and detained 14 people suspected of involvement in a terrorist network that sent fighters to Iraq, including a Belgian woman reported to have carried out a suicide bombing in Baghdad.
Belgian authorities “want to dismantle this network, which we knew was on our territory and which aimed to send volunteers” to fight in Iraq, Glenn Audenaert, the federal police director, told reporters.
More than 200 police officers took part in raids at dawn in Brussels and three other cities following media reports that a Belgian woman had blown herself up in a Nov. 9 attack in Baghdad. The woman reportedly carried out a car bombing against an American patrol. U.S. officials said she was the only person killed.
The woman was 38, her first name was Mireille and she came from a middle-class background in Charleroi, about 30 miles south of Brussels, an official close to the investigation said on condition of anonymity.
The woman converted to Islam after she married a man from Morocco, officials said. “This is how she came into contact with the organization which allowed her to become a fighter,” Audenaert said.
Her husband was killed in Iraq in a separate incident, officials said.
Nine of the 14 suspects detained Wednesday were Belgian. Three were Moroccan and two were Tunisian.
Europe’s longstanding immigration policies, poisonously too generous to the north of Africa and its included radical elements, and its willingness for years to overlook a growing militant threat are now bearing fruit. Unfortunately, the Euro nations, while seemingly willing to play hardball and police up the symptoms after the fact, refuse to address the disease of the radical and growing Islamist elements in their societies.