Thomas Renard

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Thomas Renard is senior research fellow at the Egmont Institute. He is a co-author of the report “Returnees: who are they, why are they (not) coming back and how should we deal with them? Assessing policies on returning foreign terrorist fighters in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands” (Egmont Paper 101, 2018).

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Foreign Policy Essay

Losing Control Over Returnees?

Editor’s Note: Perhaps the biggest counterterrorism challenge facing European states is how to handle their citizens who went to fight in Iraq and Syria and now seek to return. Europe's response has been muddled, with many states reluctant to take responsibility for their nationals yet not advancing an alternative policy. Thomas Renard and Rik Coolsaet of the Egmont Institute assess the problems European states face and outline ways to make the return of foreign fighters less risky and more sustainable.

Daniel Byman

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Foreign Policy Essay

Reassessing Belgium’s ‘Failed’ Counterterrorism Policy

Editor’s Note: Belgium has earned a bad name in counterterrorism circles, with critics charging that its security services did too little too late when it came to disrupting the Islamic State and other groups on Belgian soil. The tragic terrorist attack in Brussels two years ago, however, marked a turning point. Thomas Renard and Rik Coolsaet of Egmont detail the significant steps Belgium has taken in recent years to improve its counterterrorism capacity.

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