Local professor studied in Brussels, reacts to attacks


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – For Dr. Glen Duerr, assistant professor of international studies at Cedarville University, Tuesday’s terror attacks in Brussels, Belgium is close to home.

“I’ve been there several times. I’ve conducted research,” he said. “And to see the death toll rising is absolutely tragic.”

We asked him, “Why Belgium?” Why it appears radical Islamic beliefs have taken root there?

“There’s certainly kind of disenfranchised population that lives there,” he said. “The Eurozone crisis has hit economies across Europe very hard and the youth unemployment is hard. “Certainly there’s a population – an Islamist population – that has grown and has had difficulty assimilating into society, getting good jobs and things like that, and it seems as if Isis has been able to radicalize these people.”

He points out the country is also a target because it’s the political capital of Europe with the EU and NATO being located there.

Duerr said he is noticing that attacks by Isis are becoming more sophisticated, and he said it appears to have started with the Paris attacks. “Multiple attackers, hitting multiple sites across different times of the day,” he said.

He said Tuesday’s attack Monday morning in Brussels was very savvy. “It was done at the departure’s lounge when a lot of Americans come in after taking the red-eye in from the United States, as well as people leaving to go to various parts of Europe.”

He also pointed to the metro being hit right by the European Commission Building. “One of the busiest stations, at the busiest time.”

Duerr said he believes more needs to be done to intercept the chatter among terrorists to prevent future attacks.

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