07:06 GMT +320 October 2019
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    A Belgian soldier patrols in Brussels' Grand Place as police searched the area during a continued high level of security following the recent deadly Paris attacks.

    Brussels Blasted for Bowing to Terrorists Amid French Defiance

    © REUTERS / Yves Herman
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    Terrorist Attacks in Paris (254)
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    Brussels - now known to be the breeding ground for terrorism in Europe and home to the Paris attackers - remains in lockdown Monday, with many of the European Institutions canceling meetings over the terror threat.

    However, many people have taken to social media to slam the European Council for bending to the terrorists, appearing weak in the face of the threat, while Parisians showed solidarity in the days after the attacks on November 13 by coming out onto the streets.

    Cinemas, concert halls, shopping malls, the Metro transport system, schools and museums remained closed Monday following security raid that led to 16 arrests, but which failed to net the missing Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam.

    Although Belgian interior Minister Jan Jambon told RTL radio, that: "Apart from the closed metro and schools, life goes on in Brussels, the public sector is open for business today, many companies are open," EU officials canceled a whole raft of meetings due to be held in the capital Monday. 

    However, the three EU institutions appeared in disarray over how to react to the terror threat.

    European Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, tweeted:

    "The safety and wellbeing of our staff remain our priority, so flexible working arrangements/telework are encouraged wherever possible," Georgieva said.
    Meanwhile, European Parliament spokesperson Jaume Duch said staff would be able to work from home in Brussels. 

    However, officials at the European Council said it "has decided to cancel the majority of non-essential meetings scheduled to take place [Monday] in the Council building." The officials canceled "all but essential" meetings of the EU institutions and urged staff to work from home, in what many see as a capitulation to terrorism. 

    Georgi Gotev, senior editor of EurActiv.com tweeted:

    The lockdown in Brussels is in marked contrast to Paris, where the French state broadcaster France 24 reported:

    "A week after their city was shaken to the core by a series of deadly terror attacks, Parisians took to streets and cafes in the thousands Friday to honour the victims and express defiance at those who would try to challenge the French way of life."

    Hotbed of Terrorism

    Belgium has become the center of international attention following the Paris attacks, after the links to Brussels and the poor district of Molenbeek in particular, emerged. Fugitive suspected militant Salah Abdeslam, slipped back home to Brussels from Paris shortly after the attacks, in which his elder brother Brahim blew himself up at a cafe.

    Handout picture shows Belgian-born Abdeslam Salah seen on a call for witnesses notice released by the French Police Nationale information services on their twitter account, November 15, 2015.
    © REUTERS / Police Nationale/Handout
    Handout picture shows Belgian-born Abdeslam Salah seen on a call for witnesses notice released by the French Police Nationale information services on their twitter account, November 15, 2015.

    A second man from Molenbeek, Bilal Hadfi, was also among the Paris suicide bombers. Three people detained in Brussels are now facing terrorism charges. Federal prosecutors said Saturday that weapons had been found at the home of a person charged on Friday.

    Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon told reporters he wanted a register of everyone living in Molenbeek because it was not clear at present who was at each address, a process local officials had already started.    

    Terrorist Attacks in Paris (254)


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    EC Raises Alert State, Cancels Events Amid Highest Brussels Threat Level
    Belgian Police Conducting Operation in Central Brussels Amid Terror Threat
    Terrorist World War Reaction Blasted as Futile by HR Groups
    Daesh, terror threat, terror alert, lockdown, meeting, danger, terrorism, security, Paris Attacks, November 13, 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, European Council, European Union, Jan Jambon, Salah Abdeslam, Molenbeek, Europe, Brussels, Belgium
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