In recent years, Belgium has been a land of terrorist attacks. Laachraoui and Abrini, responsible for the attack in the Brussels airport in 2016, they were resident in Brussels. Oussama Z, killed in June 2017 by law enforcement while he was trying to trigger a bomb in the Central Station, he lived in Molenbeek. Ayaanle, who attacked two soldiers near the Grand Place in August, he came from Bruges. Furthermore, from 2012 to today between Brussels and Antwerp nearly 500 “foreign fighters” have left for Syria and Iraq. The terrorist threat that rages in Belgium is endemic and it is connected to the level of social integration of the population of foreign origin. However, there is a different reality: Mechelen, the only city that has not registered any departure among its inhabitants. Thanks to the initiatives proposed by the mayor Bart Somers aimed at decreasing degradation and discrimination, Mechelen has become a symbol of integration today. Politics is based on two pillars: security and inclusion. Investments have been made in favor of the Police Forces, to install cameras and street lamps, to rehabilitate some neighborhoods of the city. The strength, however, is the inclusive vision: through a sharing strategy (language courses, meeting places, artistic and sporting activities) the activity of Somers allows those who live in Mechelen to feel part of the community, reducing the social isolation, the land where the jihadist phalanx recruits the young fighters.

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