After Paris, U.K. Should Assist Belgium in Preventing Future Attacks: Official

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Belgian police stage a raid, in search of suspected muslim fundamentalists linked to the deadly attacks in Paris, in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, November 16, 2015. Yves Herman/Reuters

Belgium should consider taking on international assistance to prevent attacks such as the one that hit Paris on Friday, according to a former official advisor to the U.K. government.

Lord Alexander Carlile, who previously served as the British government's independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, says evidence suggesting the plot to attack the French capital was hatched in Belgium shows the need for more cooperation between Belgium and external services.

"This plot to attack Paris was interdicted in Belgium," he tells Newsweek. "The security services there are nothing like as good as the French security services. Plainly, what is needed is cooperation within the EU to ensure security services and intelligence agencies are on the same page about threats to shared security."

According to Lord Carlile, the cooperation level between the U.K. and France is "very high," but that cooperation is less pronounced with Belgium.

"It is vitally important that the Belgian government reassures security services and police in the rest of Europe [that it has] the capacities to deal with similar plots," Lord Carlile says. "If not, they should be willing to accept our assistance. I would suggest the U.K. security services have demonstrated themselves to be superbly competent to assist." He adds that the possibility that "the epicentre of the plot is Belgium" warrants the ehancement of security measures "at all institutions in Brussels—particularly EU institutions."

Fridya's attacks in Paris came just 18 months after Belgium suffered an extremist attack of its own. In May 2014, a gunman shot four people at the Jewish museum in Brussels.

"It isn't surprising that the attack on Paris originated from [Belgium]," says Joe Maiolo, a professor in the War Studies department at King's College London. "That the attack was organized outside of France made the probability of success higher because it exploited the national focus of [French] national security forces."

Maiolo concedes that Belgium's security services are "limited" compared with what is available to larger European countries, particularly in terms of staff, investigators and surveillance capabilities.

Belgium's Federal Public Service Justice, an analogue of the Ministry of Justice—under which police and civilian intelligence fall—was not immediately available for comment.

After Paris, U.K. Should Assist Belgium in Preventing Future Attacks: Official | World