Was there a huge explosion in Molenbeek, Belgium at the start of Ramadan and was this because it is the "Jihadi Capital of Europe"? Despite what Katie Hopkins tweeted it is not true. A huge warehouse fire in nearby Koekelberg was initially reported as being in Molenbeek but Koekelberg is not known as the "Jihadi Capital of Europe". There were some reports of an explosion but it was caused by the fire, not the other way round.
On May 15, 2018, right-wing columnist Katie Hopkins sent out a tweet with an embedded video (archived here):
Molenbeek. What on earth would cause an explosion like that in the Jihadi Capital of Europe at the start of Ramadan? *coughs* pic.twitter.com/0QdBuH97b3-- Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) May 15, 2018
The video was originally posted by Twitter user Dimitri Strobbe (archived here and here):
Brand slaat over op aanpalende gebouwen!!!! #molenbeek #feu-- dM3 (@dimitristrobbe) May 15, 2018
Gigantische explosie gehoord nu pic.twitter.com/R3vcbBaRPA
Translation: "Fire jumps to neighboring buildings!!! #molenbeek #fire Heard giant explosion now".
The tweet was part of a longer series reporting about the fire. Here is the first tweet (archived here):
Grote brand in #molenbeek. Politie en brandweer ter plaatse pic.twitter.com/PwzZcMkcr2-- dM3 (@dimitristrobbe) May 15, 2018
Translation: "Big fire in #molenbeek. Police and fire brigade on the scene".
But local media reports pointed out the fire was in a municipal warehouse located in the Rue Stepman in Koekelberg that was used to store wood and plastic.
Un entrepôt entièrement ravagé par un incendie à Koekelberg
Un entrepôt communal de Koekelberg a été entièrement ravagé par un incendie qui s'y est produit mardi soir. Il n'y a pas de blessé. Une trentaine de riverains qui étaient incommodés par les importants dégagements de fumée ont été évacués vers un...
The area in red is part of Molenbeek. Molenbeek and Koekelberg are very close to each other, hence probably the confusion.
No media reported about an explosion being the cause of the fire and no connection to terrorism, jihad or the beginning of Ramadan has been found.