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A 'crazed' man burned a mosque to the ground in Brussels on 13 March 2012, killing the local Imam
Something very fishy is going in Belgium, sometimes known as 'the unknown state at the heart of Europe.'

In fact, this small country of around eleven million people is really a great power in its own right. It hosts nothing less than the global military octopus NATO and most of the sprawling and expanding apparatus of the EU.

There is no conglomerate on earth that denies itself a spanking office there. Every language under the sun is heard in the temples of gastronomy for which Belgium is so widely famed.

Many of these tongues are spoken by arms traders, legit and otherwise, and narcotic traffickers.

Brussels is a veritable lobbyists' paradise, on a scale which almost puts Washington in the shade.

It is also historically one of the most active centers of political terrorism in Europe, as events of recent days have underscored once again.

The full story is by no means in, but it seems that on the evening of Monday, March 12, an apparently unhinged individual burst into a Shiite mosque located in Anderlecht, a large city of 100,000 which sits astride the main axis of the Belgian railway network, close to Brussels.

He began to spray petrol around the building, shouting provocative Sunni slogans and heated anti-Shiite libels. Accounts suggest that he was also waving an axe.

The resident imam tried to control the interloper, but instead he choked to death on smoke and fumes from the flames.

The imam, a 46-year-old father of four children, was the only casualty but the building itself was badly damaged.

Worshippers seized the apparent assassin, who at the time of writing has not been formally named, and held him until the police arrived.

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NATO's SHAPE HQ in southern Belgium
So, another grisly episode in the ancient tension between the Shiite and Sunni factions of Islam, performed in some distant spot rather than the bloody markets and avenues of Baghdad? I think not.

The following morning a man subsequently described as a suicide driver crashed his car into a squad of security police on duty outside the royal palace, where the ambassador of Qatar was presenting his credentials to King Albert II.

Seven policemen were injured, three quite badly. From the pictures of the wreckage it is quite remarkable that anyone survived.

The perpetrator has also yet to be formally identified at the time of writing. This is a curious omission but it strongly suggests that in both incidents, the alleged perpetrators were held incognito while their scripts are prepared for transmission to the media.

In passing, this was the identical scenario when Anders Behring Breivik was arrested on July 22 last year and charged with bombing the Norwegian capital Oslo, then subsequently killing 69 holiday campers at an island leisure resort.

The symbolism of the Belgian events is unmistakable. An Islamic lunatic carries the flaming torch of sectarian fanaticism to the gates of a rival sect.

Then another crazed individual with an apparent death wish performs a near-atrocity outside the Belgian royal palace, a citadel of the establishment.

Viz, Belgium is under siege.

Just before Christmas last year, the city of Liege, one of the largest in Belgium, was stunned by an apparently motiveless attack in which five shoppers at the annual Christmas fair in one of the city's main squares died. (Two more later died in hospital). Another 125 were injured in a shooting spree which lasted about ten deadly minutes.

Again, the scenario was almost identical to the Norwegian episode: the use of a public place as a shooting gallery by an apparently deranged lone gunman.

He was named as Nordine Amrani, a strictly secular Moroccan born in Belgium, in his early thirties.

His passionate interest in guns earned him a long prison sentence for illegal possession. Freed on parole, he quickly amassed a fabulous new arsenal of heavy ordinance with no explanation as to where a jobbing welder (that is, when he was not doing time) found that sort of money or the sources for such materials.

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The European Quarter in Brussels, Belgium.
Amrani is not around to explain, because he supposedly shot himself at the scene of crime. So he cannot tell us whether he was accompanied by other marksmen, which witnesses spoke of seeing, and why the hail of gunfire came from different directions.

Anders Breivik also spoke of friends who were with him on his day of infamy, and likewise those who survived the massacre at Utoya Island described other shooters and fire coming from different angles.

Even more curious, how Amrani's parole-watchers, which included the police, were apparently ignorant that he was amassing yet another armory, which interestingly included a Belgian made FN-FAL fast repeating rifle commonly issued to NATO armies. This was the weapon that he purportedly used to create mayhem in the Place St. Lambert.

He also had a sack of army-issued grenades, which it is claimed that he tossed around freely, in a sick parody of Christmas presents.

Belgians may wisely place these events in the context of their country's history of violent and random attacks on civilians conducted by the secret state.

These notably included the so-called Brabant massacres dating to the 1980s, and named for the province where most of the attacks occurred. The targets were mainly shops and supermarkets. Masked gunman picked on innocents paying for groceries or packing their wares in car parking lots.

All told 28 victims died. The cover story of robberies was rather undermined by bundles of cash thrown into streams.

The culprits were never traced. But a special parliamentary commission concluded that the secret state was responsible for acts of violence committed in order to convince Belgians that the state was under siege from radicalized left wing militants. Thus they would turn to the welcoming arms of safe right wing governments.

In time this became known as the 'Strategy of Tension' connected with secret paramilitary units associated with NATO and the respective governmental authorities of each country.

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Flowers left at the scene of the barbaric bloodshed in Liege last Christmas. Note the sign - at least some are aware who is really behind this.
The generic name for these operations was Gladio, after the unit first which was exposed to daylight in Italy in 1990.

Gladio's war against the Italian people became known as the anni di piombo, the 'Years of Lead.'

Belgium's own years of lead claimed many fewer lives but were nonetheless associated with a horrific deformation of the state. This was the slippage into mass pedophilia and vice rings under the control of criminal gangs with connections to flourishing local neo-Fascists, the Belgian 'Gladio' secret state and, moreover, the connivance of the upper reaches of the establishment.

Belgium was gifted with two secret armies, one for each side of the linguistic divide.

There is no evidence that they were ever disbanded. In fact the former 'Diana' hunter unit was reconstituted in the late 90s under a new name ('Commandement territorial interforces, CIT for short) specifically to deal with militant forces (code for Islamists) who might seek to disrupt the political order.

I'll now go over some facts of life concerning Belgium, which may help to place recent events into context. In particular how the 'Strategy of Tension' has morphed to find a new target.

About half a million people of Muslim origin live in the country, the majority born there and practically all carry Belgian passports.

From the earliest years of the 21st century, corresponding with 9/11 and the subsequent US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, tensions between the Muslim minority and the native inhabitants have been constantly on the rise, leading to outbursts of anger and violence which bear Gladio-style indications of official sponsorship.

Antwerp, the diamond trading center of Europe, was the scene of huge riots in December 2002, ignited by the murder of a 27-year-old Islamic teacher by an elderly white neighbor who was described as mentally ill.

The authorities exploited the affair to blame the violence on the Lebanese-born organizer of the Arab European League, Dyab Abou Jahjah.

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Benoit de Bonvoisin, the Black Baron of Belgium: named by at least two of the Dutroux survivors, 'cleared' of multiple investigations in to financial fraud and financier of fascist organisations linked to Belgium's 'stay-behind' network
Described by excitable reporters as the 'Malcolm X of Belgium,' Jahjah had scarcely endeared himself to the natives by describing assimilation as 'cultural rape' and demanding equal rights for Arabic speakers.

This was a delightful irony, because the Janus-like cultural divide between French and Flemish speakers make Belgium itself a rather glaring political anomaly.

Yet the authorities' case against Jahjah collapsed when a senior police officer present at the scene gave evidence that far from stirring unrest, Jahjah was actually trying to calm the mood of the angry crowd.

The stripe of Gladio is always premeditated synthetic violence, which can also go under the heading of false flags. Gladio students like myself note one or two more examples of significant warping of tactics to fit new circumstances.

This is the manipulation of confused individuals who generally belong to the outer reaches of society. Among the examples discussed here, Nordine Amrani seems to be a classic example, persuaded by his minders that he could escape being returned to jail at the end of his parole by taking part in an innocuous 'training exercise.'

It is my personal conviction that Anders Behring Breivik belongs in the same category, given that a police 'training exercise' concluded just 36 minutes before he allegedly set off a bomb that killed eight people in Oslo's central government district.

Moreover, the practice run included precisely the same camping island where Breivik went on his shooting spree.

(Reminder: the bombings of the London transport network on July 7, 2005 were paralleled by a security exercise on that same day, sponsored by a private company. The exercise featured the same trains that were bombed in real time and the identical station locations).

Is it pure co-incidence that so many individuals involved in gory attacks are taken off to isolated quarters before they are paraded before the court of public opinion?

The classic instance here is the Turkish gangster Mehmet Ali Agca, arraigned for an attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II, having been 'educated' at an isolated prison far from Rome.

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Was Breivik trying to tell us something here?
A parallel can be found with the gory assassination of Theo van Gogh (of the iconic painter's family tree) in Amsterdam in November 2004.

His assassin, a young Muslim called Mohammed Bayouri, had been under watch by Dutch intelligence, AIVD, for months, together with his small band of chest-beating radicals.

This supervision was called off shortly before he plunged a dagger into Van Gogh, a film producer renowned for his blustering anti Islamic rages, and for good measure practically beheaded him. He was whisked away to a specialist psychological treatment center.

The same treatment was meted out to Volkert van der Graaf, the purported assassin of the hedonistic libertarian politician Pim Fortuyn in May 2002. He was expected to emerge as the premier in the forthcoming general election, much to the distress of the established mainstream parties. Safely locked away, Van der Graaf declined for months to say why he had killed Fortuyn, if indeed he did.

The mish-mash of motives served up by the authorities made no sense whatsoever, particularly as he had no record of any kind as a pro-Muslim activist. But as an active advocate of animal rights in a country with a large and well-muscled agri-business industry accustomed to pulling weight with government, Van der Graaf made powerful enemies of his own.

Returning to Belgium, we find ourselves in a country which struggles to find a common direction, thanks to the linguistic gulf and the reluctance of prosperous Flemish province to subsidize what it sees as the feckless French speaking south. The latest government emerged from protracted negotiations extending over two and half years.

The strong independence movement in Flanders hankers for a state of its own, leaving the Walloons (French speakers) to fend for themselves.

This would leave Brussels, the feted Euro Capital with all its international organizations and bodies, embarrassingly marooned on an island between the two.

Thus, I am sure that the latest re-tooling of Gladio to promote the 'enemy within', the menace of Islamic radicals, fits the purpose of a state unifying force.

In days of yore, the former years of lead, communist subversives filled the same role.

Richard Cottrell is a writer, journalist and former European MP (Conservative). His new book Gladio: NATO's Dagger At The Heart Of Europe is now available from Progressive Press. You may order it using the link below (or by clicking here - Gladio, NATO's Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis)