Yesterday, Dutch Middle-East correspondent Harald Doornbos posted a thread of comments on the Manchester terror attack, more specifically on how the Middle-East view Western policies on extremism, and on the fact that, as is almost always the case, the terrorist was a known figure to the authorities.

Doornbos wrote that:

“Here in Dubai, I speak with many Muslims after every terror attack that occurs in Western Europe. They are stupefied that every time, the terrorist seems to be a known person to the authorities. Muslims here cannot believe that these known figures are free to walk around, knowing they are walking time bombs. In Dubai, but also in Pakistan or other parts of the Muslim world, the authorities act much harder against these individuals. There are draconian punishments for individuals who are members of a terrorist organisation, while some of these organisations are even legal in the West. Muslims here are saying: “The West does not understand how dangerous extremism really is. And now they are constantly attacked, and we Muslims get the blame for it.”

Doornbos then continues:

“In Pakistan, I had a conversation with a Government Minister. He said the Pakistani army had captured and arrested a Dutch jihadi who was travelling to Al-Qaeda and could potentially execute a terror attack in the Netherlands. The minister said he expected a “thank you” from the Netherlands, for capturing a Dutch extremist. But the contrary happened. “The Dutch embassy scolded Pakistan for mistreating a Dutch citizen.” The Dutch wanted him back immediately because he didn’t get enough sleep and he was beaten. Eventually, the Pakistanis released the extremist and put him on a plane to the Netherlands. “you guys then deal with it yourselves”, the Minister said flabbergasted.”

Finally, he stated:

“Muslims who return from Syria, do not receive the benefit of the doubt anymore in the Muslim world, while the West sticks to the policy: if there is no evidence somebody did anything wrong, he can not be charged.”

Doornbos is living in the Middle East, now in Dubai. In 2000 he was part of the search party going after (back then) fugitive Karadžić’. In 2011 he reported the protests in Egypt and the revolt in Libia. He now reports from Syria, Turkey and Pakistan.