Terrorist threat: screening of international travellers “absolutely normal”
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    Terrorist threat: screening of international travellers “absolutely normal”

    © Belga
    The Mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever, is thinking of bringing security checks into other locations, besides the Antwerp-Central train station, in the Flemish city.
    © Belga

    From now on, international passengers will be selected at random in the Brussels-Midi, Antwerp-Central and Liège-Guillemins train stations. To this end metal detectors and baggage scanners have been installed. The Mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever (New Flemish Alliance), says that these additional security measures are perfectly normal.

    On Wednesday he said, “The real question is why didn’t we equip these high-speed train terminals from the beginning?” He asked, “Why should a train station be considered to be different from an airport?”

    The new security mechanisms at the Brussels-Midi, Anvers-Central and Liège-Guillemins train stations were unveiled on Wednesday. This was notably in the presence of the Minister of the Interior, Jan Jambon (N-VA), and the Minister for Transport, François Bellot (MR). Passengers are checked at random, a small mobile device deciding, by using an algorithm, when a given check should be carried out. Around a dozen police at Brussels-Midi have also been trained in the detection of suspicious behaviour.

    As indicated above, Mr De Wever, says that all of this is absolutely normal. The Mayor of Antwerp is even thinking of introducing checks in other locations in the Flemish city. He stated on Wednesday, “At the beginning of my current term of office, I drew up a list of locations where scanners could be installed. Antwerp-Central station is at the top of this list.”

    The New Flemish Alliance President did not expand upon the places that would be affected by enhanced security saying, “It would not be wise to state them publicly, but we are talking about buildings such as the city hall.” He added, “The latter will be renovated in the years to come and the security component is extremely important. This is because everyone is free to enter and leave the building as they wish. For example, people are often outside my office, when in a multitude of cases they absolutely shouldn’t be there.”

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times