Military barracks searched in operation against extreme-right terrorism

Military barracks searched in operation against extreme-right terrorism
Military personnel during the search for Jürgen Conings. Credit: Belga

As part of an operation to tackle extreme-right terrorism in Belgium, three military barracks and eight private homes of military personnel were searched on Wednesday morning.

Nobody was arrested during the searches, however, computers and mobile phones were seized for investigation, the federal public prosecutor's office confirmed. Further updates on the investigation are due later in the day.

The barracks that were searched were those located in Florennes in the province Namur, Sint-Truiden in Limburg and Heverlee, in Vlaams-Brabant, according to reports from De Standaard.

The operation comes in the wake of the case of Jürgen Conings, a former career soldier with extreme-right beliefs who went missing for a month earlier this year after stealing an arsenal of lethal weapons from a military barracks.

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A report published in July by Committee I, which reviews the activities and functioning of State Security, shows that Conings was granted access to military quarters despite being monitored by intelligence agencies because he was classified as a level 3 threat.

The report, which highlighted “a failure in the flow of information and a lack of a clear policy on extremism” within the military secret service, also found that Conings was barely monitored by his own unit.

Various Dutch-speaking media reported that this operation is connected to the Conings case, as part of an investigation into the "distribution of messages that may lead to incitement to commit crimes related to terrorist acts."

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