After arriving in Belgium and spending a few days there, I decided I needed to speak with someone who had been in the country longer than me, preferably someone inside the military who could give their point of view on the security situation in Belgium. I headed over to Antwerp to meet a U.S. Air Force sergeant based in the area. He’d been in Belgium for a few years by that point, and had regular updates on the security situation throughout Europe. This was just a few weeks after the Paris attacks, and he was told not to set foot in Brussels, as U.S. service personnel were at high risk.

For obvious safety reasons, SOFREP cannot reveal this officer’s identity. This is what he had to say on the subject of Belgian security and terrorism.

When did you arrive in Belgium?

A little over two years ago.

What was the threat level like when you arrived?

It was there, but wasn’t really relevant because the fighting wasn’t brought to light for the public to recognize the ever-growing threat of ISIS in Western Europe.

How has the situation changed over the years?

Over the last few years, the threat has changed, I believe, due to the open borders in Europe, as well as the war in Syria drawing the insurgents into Syria and then recycling them back into Europe. This cycle has increased as time goes on.