Arch-Brexiteers Richard Tice and Ben Habib have blamed the horrendous Belgian terror attack by a suspected illegal immigrant on “mass uncontrolled migration”.
They believe open borders are an “existential threat” to the West after the incident which took place when a man, dressed in an orange overcoat, opened fire on Swedish football fans using an automatic weapon.
The fans were travelling to watch their national team play Belgium at King Baudouin Stadium in a Euro 2024 qualifier.
The alleged gunman, named by police as Abdesalem Lassoued, is believed to have been an ISIS supporter and claimed he was avenging the death of a US-Palestinian boy.
The Reform UK leader Mr Tice told Express.co.uk that he believed that the horrific attack was the result of unfettered immigration, adding: “Sadly across Europe we are seeing the consequences of mass uncontrolled migration having allowed in extremists who wish us harm.”
Referencing the recent incident that took place in the north-east of England in which 70-year-old Terrence Carney was killed, he said: “We have counter terrorism involved with a murder last weekend in Hartlepool allegedly by an asylum seeker. Why?
“We need answers not cover ups and we need protecting from these extremists.” The 45-year-old gunman, believed to be of Tunisian origin, was in Belgium illegally, having had his asylum application rejected.
In an online video, Lassoued claimed he had killed the victims in the name of God. Belgium is now on its highest level of terror alert.
Reform’s deputy leader Ben Habib echoed the forthright views of his party leader, telling this website: “It seems lost on the bleeding heart open border nutcases that borders exist for a reason.
“Apart from defining the independent constitutional, social and cultural construct that is the United Kingdom, they enable our protection.”
READ MORE Brits issued urgent travel warning in wake of horror Brussels terror attack
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The former MEP for London said he believed that by enforcing borders the country will control entry. He added: “We control the entry to our country of those that would do us harm.
“We can check their identities, their backgrounds, whether they are criminals and so on. To dilute or waive our right to carry out these checks is wilfully endangering the country. The attack in Brussels is just the latest example.”
The Brexiteer made clear that he believed that Western politicians needed to wake up to the dangers of having a de facto open-door migration policy.
He said: “Western democracies face an existential threat from this open border madness. I fear it will be too late when those that govern us eventually try to do something about it.”
Despite the depravity of last night’s attack, the number of terror incidents that have been completed, failed or foiled in states covered by Europol has gone down year on year since 2017’s peak of thirty-three incidents.
In the UK, 2017 also looms large as a particularly acute year for terrorism after the Manchester Arena bombing which killed 23 and London Bridge attacks which killed 11.
The data from the last few years does not suggest terrorism is resurgent threat. In 2021, two people lost their lives as a result of three attacks – one of whom was Southend MP David Amess, who was stabbed while holding a constituency surgery. Last year two people died from two attacks.
If jihadism is confirmed as a motive for the attacks of the past few days, 2023’s number will stand at three deaths from two attacks.
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Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, branded Monday’s shooting “a harrowing act of terrorism” during a press conference.
Mr De Croo said: “Perpetrators, they try to instil fear, distrust and division in our free societies. Terrorism. Terrorists must understand that they will never succeed in their intent.”
The cases’ prosecutor has pointed to the victims’ Swedish nationality as a possible motive for the killer.
Sweden, a country with one of the longest free speech traditions in the world, has seen repeated burnings of the Qu’ran – the Islamic holy text.
In response, Sweden’s embassy was set alight in Baghdad, Iraq, after it emerged that the police sanctioned the burning.
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