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World

Tourists, not terrorists take over Molenbeek

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Opening sequence

World

Tourists, not terrorists take over Molenbeek

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COMING UP:Tourists, not terrorists take over Molenbeek

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Transcript

00:00:01
>> It's an unlikely attraction for tourists armed with selfie sticks. The Brussels borough of Molenbeek that hit world headlines last year when Islamist militants based in the area attacked Paris leaving 130 dead. But Reuters Maria Haase Coelho in Brussels says there's been a surge in interest from those who want to see the so called jihadi hub for themselves.
00:00:24
>> Behind me is a 15th century town hall of Brussels which has attracted tourists for generations. But tourist numbers are down ever since the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. They were indeed planned just a ten minute walk from here in the district of Molenbeek. This district has gained an unwelcome fame ever since news got out that the young man who planned and committed the terrorist attacks came from Molenbeek.
00:00:47
However, an unlikely side effect has been that tourist numbers have been up in Molenbeek, while they have been down in the rest of Brussels.>> Just under 100,000 people live in Molenbeek, 40% are Muslim of mainly Moroccan origin. Tour guides would usually cover the area's industrial heritage and the local market.
00:01:06
But now, most customers want to see the home of Salah Abdeslam. He was a key player in the Paris attacks, who afterwards spent four months in hiding here in Molenbeek.
SOUND] F
otage from the time shows special forces storming his hideout, just days before suicide bombers struck Brussels Airport, and a city metro.
00:01:26
The topic may be exciting for some of Brussel's more inquisitive visitors but some locals resent the attention and may be keener to forget the recent past.