Molotov attack on Belgian parliament was 'retaliation' for coronavirus response

Molotov attack on Belgian parliament was 'retaliation' for coronavirus response
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The 36-year-old man who threw a homemade bomb at Belgium's federal parliament on Monday did so in an act of retaliation against the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The man, identified in media by his initials PV, was arrested on Monday afternoon after he threw a molotov cocktail at the gates of the parliament building.

"No one was injured and there was only minor damage to the public roads," Denis Goeman, spokesperson for the Brussels' public prosecutor's office, said in a press release.

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In the preliminary stages of the investigation, prosecutors said they found the man in possession of "certain documents" which suggested that he could have "extreme convictions."

Reports by RBTF that the man had links or sympathised with far-right ideologies could nevertheless not be immediately confirmed by prosecutors.

"At this stage in the investigation, even if certain documents found in the possession of the subject suggest that he might have extreme convictions, there is not objective evidence linking his actions to a particular political conviction."

During his questioning, the man told prosecutors that he had not acted in the name of any ideology but rather to "retaliate" against the government.

"According to him, [the government] wrongly handled the ongoing public health crisis," prosecutors wrote.

On the morning of his attack against the parliament, Bruzz reported that the man had taken to Twitter to announce that he was "planning something," in a post in which he is also said to have expressed his frustration at how Belgium's governments were tackling the coronavirus crisis.

House searchers led by authorities in the suspect's home and in his vehicle did not lead to the finding of any other dangerous engines.

The man was put under the custody of public prosecutors in Brussels on Tuesday morning and an arrest warrant is set to be issued against him in the course of the day, Goeman said.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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