Probe launched into arrest of armed curfew-violator in Brussels

Probe launched into arrest of armed curfew-violator in Brussels
© Belga

Brussels prosecutors have launched a probe after a man was arrested for lingering around the city's central police station while carrying several illegal weapons.

The man was arrested on the night of Monday to Tuesday and caught officers' attention because he was loitering by the headquarters of the Brussels-Ixelles police zone at night, in violation of the capital region's coronavirus curfew.

"He was intercepted due to his presence on the street despite the curfew. Weapons were found on his person," the Brussels public prosecutor's office said in a press release.

Prosecutors have launched "several inquiries" in order to establish the circumstances regarding the arrest and have said he is set to be questioned at an unconfirmed date.

Authorities could not confirm reports that the suspect was identified as 43-year-old John C. and that he was carrying ammunition, a machete, an axe and other weapons at the time of his arrest.

Further reports also say that police found more weapons during a subsequent house search.

Following the arrest, the NSPV police union said they believed the man had unspecified "radical" sympathies and, echoing recent calls from other police unions, called for increased protection for police officers.

A spokesperson for the OCAM/OCAD counter-terrorism centre confirmed that they were aware of the incident but said that, on the basis of current information, there was "no reason" to hike the current terror alert threat level, which the spokesperson said would remain at 2 out of 4.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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