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Europe

Jewish leaders call for stronger security following fatal museum attack in Brussels

World Jewish leaders gathered in Brussels to honor victims of a deadly anti-Semitic attack have urged authorities to keep a tighter watch on Jewish sites in Europe and especially on Jihadists returning from Syria.

Leaders of the World Jewish Congress warned Europe on Monday that young people recruited by Islamist radical networks to fight in Syria's multi-fronted war could end up threatening the safety of all Europeans.

The WJC's president, Ronald Lauder, told a news conference that security forces in Europe were "not able yet to handle some of these people" and said policing must be "stronger."

Lauder (pictured right foreground) also called on European leaders to do more to counter anti-Semitic statements on the Internet.

"What starts out as anti-Semitism can change … into anti-Christianism or anti-anything," Lauder said.

Call for state funding of security

The news agency Belga quoted a Belgian Jewish leader, Maurice Sosnowski, as saying the Belgian government should fund the cost of providing security at Jewish sites. Currently, the Jewish community has funded measures itself.

The calls follow the murder of three people at the Jewish Museum in downtown Brussels on May 24 - just before the main phase of the European Parliamentary elections.

Suspect detained in Marseille

On Friday, police in Marseille detained a French suspect, Medhi Nemmouche, 29, while checking a bus arriving from the Netherlands.

On Sunday, French anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins said Nemmouche had traveled to Syria - where he stayed for more than a year - and then back, with a "manifest desire to cover his tracks."

Authorities lost track of him after March 18, when he was stopped by Frankfurt customs officers.

Last week, a report submitted to the United Nations Security Council warned that Syria could prove to be a major training ground for new networks of extremists.

EU interior ministers are due to discuss the issue on Thursday.

ipj/pfd (dpa, AFP)

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