The former chair of the UK Defence Select Committee has issued a dire warning in the aftermath of the Brussels terror attack which claimed the lives of two Swedish football fans.
The suspected gunman is a rejected Tunisian asylum seeker who opened fire in the Belgian capital using an automatic weapon, around 5km from the King Baudouin Stadium where Belgium were to take on Sweden in a Euro2024 qualifier.
Tobias Ellwood MP, an outspoken voice in the public discourse on UK security and diplomacy, told Express.co.uk that he fears a wave of extremist actors from the Middle East may descend on Europe with the aim of committing similar acts of barbarism.
He said: “Sadly this Brussels attack is an indication of what could follow as radicalised sleeper units way beyond the Middle East are woken up.”
Drawing a link between the terror incident and the exceptionally high tensions between Israel and its neighbours, the former army captain noted that “operational and strategic errors” on the part of the Jewish state and other Western powers may lead to a surge in “radicalisation” and “recruitment of jihadi groups”.
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Federal prosecutor’s office spokesperson, Eric Van Der Sypt, told Belgian public broadcaster VRT today: “We’ve said initially that there would not be a link with the events in Gaza, but we have determined in the meantime that he shared a couple of support messages for the Palestinian people on his social media”.
Mr Ellwood argued that European states risked suffering a repeat of the Brussels terror attack if western-backed Israel inflicted a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza in its attempt to punish Hamas.
He said: “An immediate ground invasion of Gaza, without a clear emergency plan for humanitarian support, governance and security, would see more Palestinians rallying to Hamas’s cause.”
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The MP for Bournemouth East added that the US President’s visit to Israel was “timely”, given the need for global powers to develop a “comprehensive strategy” that gives Gaza “a way forward… whilst Hamas is removed”.
Last night counter-terrorism police charged Ahmed Alid, 44, with the murder of a 70-year-old man in Hartlepool, Terrence Carney.
As well as visiting Benjamin Netanyahu, President Biden will also travel to Amman, the capital of Jordan, to meet the country’s King Abdullah, the Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas.
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