A man in his fifties was taken into custody on Sunday following a bomb alert at the daily tabloid “Le Soir” during the early afternoon. It was all over by early evening, the Brussels Prosecutor’s Office said. “The suspect, T-C, born in 1962, will be questioned by investigators from the local Brussels-Capitale-Ixelles police”, they added. More information on this case will be released on Monday morning during a press conference.
The “Le Soir” journalists went back into their offices at 8pm, after a five hour absence. The next edition will still be in kiosks on Monday morning, despite the setback. Members of staff were temporarily sheltered in a hotel close-by during the afternoon, said Didier Hamann, the General Director of the newspaper.
“A bomb alert on this emblematic day for Freedom of Speech is crazy!”, he said. “What would have been laughed off 5 days ago, (before the attack on Charlie Hebdo) and would even have been unthinkable, has been taken very seriously indeed.”
At around 2.30pm on Sunday, the staff at “Le Soir” got a phone call. “Your office is going to blow up. You don’t take us seriously”, said the caller. He identified himself as Thierry Carreyn, 53. Carreyn is a former printer who is known to police for planting a bomb in front of the Vlaams Blok offices (today Vlaams Belang) in 1999.
After the threat, the” Soir” building, which also houses “La Capitale” and “Soir Mag”, was evacuated. The rue Royale was closed to traffic. The building was thoroughly searched, with sniffer dogs, but nothing was found.
Following these events, discreet measures have been put in place in increase security at the newspaper, said M.Hamann.