OCAM had not recommended additional security measures at the NIFC
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    OCAM had not recommended additional security measures at the NIFC

    © Belga
    Further developments have been made in the investigation of the INFC fire.
    © Belga

    The FPS Justice expressed its support for collaborators working at the National Institute for Forensics and Criminolgy at Neder-Over-Heembeek, which has been affected by a fire. This was started deliberately during the period from Sunday night through to Monday morning.

    The FPS Justice also stressed that the Coordinating Unit for Threat Analysis, which assesses terrorist threat risks (known nationally as OCAM) had not recommended any additional security measures after the March 22nd attacks.

    The Federal Public Service (FPS) Justice indicated in a communiqué that it “lamented” the incident, which had taken place at the NIFC. This federal scientific centre, which was situated at Neder-over-Heembeek, was subject to deliberate arson, during the period from Sunday night through to Monday morning, by criminals who were then unknown to the police.

    As the attack took place during the night in an unoccupied building the fire, in fact, injured nobody but caused significant structural damage and the microtraces laboratory was considerably damaged.

    The FPS Justice stated that it had requested an evaluation by OCAM, after the March 22nd Brussels attacks, regarding building security in the NIFC.

    In the absence of an imminent threat, OCAM concluded that no additional security measures were required. However, the FPS Justice stated that it was demanding a new evaluation of the current situation.

    The NIFC is a federal scientific institution falling directly under the Justice Ministry, although acting autonomously. Its role involves completing expert reports and scientific research as requested by judicial authorities to identify criminal perpetrators. To protect its infrastructure, it is dependent upon the Belgian Buildings Agency.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times