Tolerating Terrorism in the West: An International Survey

By Noemi Gal-Or | Go to book overview
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Chapter 4

The CCC phenomenon in Belgium: unbacked terrorism

Simon Petermann

Since the arrest of the recognized leader of the CCC and some confederates in December 1985, no further acts of violence have been perpetrated in Belgium. It is undoubtedly too early to conclude that henceforth, Belgium will be spared from terrorism. The terrorist phenomenon is—alas—an ecliptical one, unpredictable, and can resurge for reasons unknown which sometimes are more related to developments on the international scene than the national context. 1

When, on 2 October 1984, a first attack struck the company LITTON Business Belgium, a multinational specializing in telecommunications, Belgium was plunged into consternation. The Belgians in fact, discovered to their amazement that their country was no longer sheltered from the wave of terrorism which had swept nearly all of Europe. They were amazed because Belgium had until then been rather a peaceful country where political, social or community violence did not find a favourable breeding ground. And yet, in the space of a fortnight, there were five bomb attacks against multinationals working more or less closely with the NATO military programme and against the Parti Réformateur Libéral (PRL) (Liberal Reform Party) in Brussels and the Christelijke Volkspartji (CVP) (Christian People’s Party) in Ghent, two of the coalition government parties. Responsibility for this first series of attacks was claimed by the mysterious ‘Cellules Communistes Combattantes’ (CCC) (Fighting Communist Cells) of which no one had ever heard. The CCC distributed communiqués on each occasion, sometimes very lengthy ones, written in language intelligible only to the initiated, explaining their aims, with supporting photos of their targets. 2

It was thus, that between 2 October 1984 and 16 December 1985 the CCC claimed responsibility for twenty-one bomb attacks in the

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