As fears of worldwide spillover of the Israel-Hamas conflict continue to increase, the justice minister in Belgium resigned last week after it was revealed that an Islamic extremist from Tunisia, who murdered two Swedish tourists in Brussels, was subject to an extradition order that was apparently ignored, as Breitbart reported.
Vincent van Quickenborne announced his decision to step down from his role on Friday amid criticism of the manner in which his country's government dealth with the case of the aforementioned Tunisian man who had previously delcared allegiance to the Islamic State, according to Reuters.
The now former justice minister indicated that a probe of the gunman's history in Belgium turned up an August 2022 request from Tunisian authorities that the 45-year-old assailant, Abdesalem Lassoued – who also referred to himself as Abdesalem Al Guilani – be extradited, and he added that the overture had been ignored or neglected by authorities.
On Friday evening, Van Quickenborne outlined for reporters the series of events that led to his resignation.
“This morning at nine o'clock, I remarked the following elements: On August 15, 2022, there was an extradition demand by Tunisia for this man,” he began.
Van Quickenborne went on, “This demand was transmitted on Sept. 1, as it should have been, by the justice expert at the Brussels prosecutor's office. The magistrate in charge did not follow up on this extradition demand and the dossier was not acted upon.”
“It's an individual error. A monumental error. An unacceptable error. An error with dramatic consequences,” Van Quickenborne declared.
In light of the deadly outcome the Tunisian man's presence ultimately produced when he killed two Swedish soccer fans who were visiting Brussels to watch a European championship qualifying match, he added, “Even though it's about the work of an individual and independent magistrate, I must, despite this, assume all the political responsibility for this unacceptable error.”
“This is an inexcusable error which has had dramatic effects,” Van Quickeborne lamented.
Van Quickenborne's resignation was submitted to Prime Minister Alexander DeCroo, who later posted on X, formerly Twitter, that he appreciated the former official's decisive and selfless move, adding his “respect for his courage.”
According to Breitbart, the grievous mistake adds to a growing perception within Belgium of serious problems within its justice system.
The oulet noted that judges and top law enforcement officials in the country often raise concerns about their burdensome caseloads, which they are expected to tackle with insufficient staffing levels.
Though Belgian officials insisted that the attack on the two Swedish nationals did not have any connection to the conflict between Israel and Gaza, the event has put a renewed spotlight on the dangers of Islamic extremists who may be plotting activities across the globe.
Experts in the United States, including Lora Ries of the Heritage Foundation's Border Security and Immigration Center, recently warned that America's porous southern border is extremely vulnerable to an influx of such dangerous actors, declaring, “we have to assume that the sleeper cells of terrorists are here inside the U.S., and Congress needs to wake up and preempt.”
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