Brussels in lockdown after phoney terrorist sparks chaos
Brussels was once again in high alert after a terror suspect sparked a false bomb alert after strapping a device full of ‘salt and biscuits’ around his waist.
Belgians have feared a terrorist attack since November, in the wake of the massacres in Paris that killed 130 people, with extra police and military mobilised.
The capital of Belgium is also still reeling from attacks on 22nd March, when Deash bombers targeted a Brussels airport and subway, killing 32 people.
Police descended on the City2 Shopping Mall in the heart of the city and taped off surrounding roads, while five underground stations were also in lock down.
A suspect was detained at the scene and armed police were called in amid reports he told officers he was wearing a bomb vest.
Belgian authorities now say the man was not carrying explosives.
Ine Van Wymersch, spokeswoman for the Brussels prosecutors’ office later said the suspect ‘is being questioned at the moment’ and added ‘there were no explosives’.
The incident comes a week after anti-terrorism investigators were alerted to the possibility that small groups of Daesh extremists had left Syria for France and Belgium with plans to stage attacks, including inside shopping malls.
Belgian authorities have also charged three men with ‘attempted terrorist murder’ after raiding dozens of homes linked to a reported threat to fans during a Euro 2016 football game.