Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Yet Another Reason Why I'll Never Live in Belgium Again

The US Embassy in Brussels, Belgium, released an alert today warning Americans abroad of a foiled terrorist plot in Europe’s capital. An incendiary device was found near the vehicle of a member of the foreign diplomatic corps. Thankfully, despite the involvement of the wholly inadequate Belgian Federal Police, the device was removed safely.

Last December Belgium gained the world’s attention following the arrest of 14 terror suspects in Brussels and neighboring city Liege who were allegedly plotting an attack on a European Summit to be held in the capital city.

If you’ve spent a significant amount of time in Brussels, you’re probably used to the often subway disruptions for Schumann, the Metro stop directly below the European Commission. You’ve probably been witness to the various demonstrations that take place from time to time from activist groups. You're probably more than used to the uncomfortable interactions between nationalities, especially that between the Arab community and the European natives. The city is rife with tension.

Despite the importance that Brussels holds in acting as the center of European government, the news this morning neglected to even mention this latest attempted act of terrorism. Then again, despite all of the demonstrations and shady activities I’ve witnessed in the European capital, the only incident I’ve ever seen on the news was that which involved the arrest around the European Summit in 2008.

Is the lack of coverage a result of selective or stifled media coverage? Who knows, but back in the days of real, investigative journalism, one might think it would be interesting to cover terrorist groups plotting attacks in the capitals of industrialized countries.

Just one more reason why I’m glad to be State-side again - media sensationalism in the US would have this blasted all over every channel, on every show, in every paper.

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