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Belgium Freezes Funds, Properties of Those Involved in Terrorism - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Brussels- Belgium has frozen the financial assets of another 158 foreign fighters who went to fight in Iraq or Syria, local media reported Friday.

Those Belgians taking part in fights in Iraq or Syria, will no longer have access to their bank accounts and will not be able to use their credit cards while in the Middle East or when they want to return to Belgium.

Others assets like real estate are also being blocked by the Belgian government, added the media.

The measure has been in force for a year now, and the list already included 56 names.

Mohammed Abrini, who took part in the terror attack in Brussels Airport last year, was already blacklisted.

Belgian Justice Minister Koen Geens and Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt said the foreign fighters can no longer use their financial means for terrorist aims, and a possible illegal return becomes much more difficult.

“It’s obvious we also need to fight the battle against terrorism financially,” they noted in a statement.

Belgian media has pointed out that a royal decree was issued in 2006 an included restrictive measures against certain persons to combat the financing of terrorism.

The list, which was announced in the official gazette, included the names of a number of people who were said to have been killed in the combat operations, yet they will remain on the list until their death is officially confirmed, media sources said.

Among them is Hisham al-Shayeb the right-hand man of Fouad Belkacem, head of the Belgian Sharia group, which the authorities banned years ago because of its involvement in sending militants to Syria.

The news had previously pointed out that Shayeb had been killed in Syria among ISIS ranks, but the family’s lawyer said that Hisham is still alive.

Mohammed Abrini’s brother, Sulaiman Abrini, the man wearing a hat, who retracted from bombing himself at Brussels Airport in March 2016, was also reported to have been killed in ISIS ranks, but the government is not sure yet.