The Chief of Police for the Brussels-Ixelles police zone, Guido Van Wymersch, and the Mayor of Brussels City Council, Yvan Mayeur, reported on the level of terrorist threat in a communiqué today (Wednesday). They stated that the level of terrorist threat in Brussels, and more particularly for the ‘Plaisirs d’Hiver’ (Brussels’s Christmas fesetival), has not been altered.
The Threat Assessment Coordination Body (TACB), again questioned on Wednesday, confirmed that the threat level should be maintained at 3 or “serious” (serious, possible and likely) on a scale of 1 to 4.
However, no known threat has, so far been reported for the ‘Plaisirs d’Hiver’ period, stated Daphné Phan Lê, Press Officer at Brussels City Council.
The Brussels-Ixelles police are requesting that the media supply any information they have available when it is to hand.
If not, and in the population’s interest, they request that the media stop feeding the so-called “fear factor” amongst the population.
In its Wednesday edition, the daily newspaper, La Dernière Heure (DH), indicates that “its information sources suggest that there is a new terror threat which is directly intended to target the ‘Plaisirs d’Hiver’ period.”
In respect of the level 3 threat, strict vigilance is required and every measure necessary has been taken to ensure the security of the population, as much as part of the ‘Plaisirs d’Hiver’ period, as other events at this end of the year. This is the stance of the city authorities.
For the 16th ‘Plaisirs d’Hiver’ event, which opens on Wednesday in the centre of Brussels, the zone’s police force will be present in large numbers. Two mobile police stations will be set up in Place de la Monnaie, where the ice rink will be located, and Quai au Bois à Brûler.
The police will patrol the secure location of the events site when it is open.
Preventive measures will also be ensured by the so-called “peacekeepers” from Brussels City Council.
There will be police dog-handlers present on the site. Mobile pedestrian patrols will be on surveillance in the surrounding areas, so as to eliminate all risk of car-thefts.
So-called “trekkers” will focus on pickpockets. A police communiqué indicates that other plain-clothes policeman will also be deployed on-site.