A Namur man born in 1983 and with his face partially covered drove a car up to the Flawinne paracommando barracks (in the Namur province) this Monday morning at 9.02am. The car was registered in his name and the man tried to force his way into the barracks before driving around the area and fleeing on foot into a residential area, the public prosecutor Vincent Macq indicated during a press conference on Monday afternoon. It is not thought to be an act of terrorism and there were no casualties.
“He shouted to the guard who refused to let him in. He perhaps wished to pass himself off as a soldier. He then forced entry to the premises using his car. Soldiers fired 12 shots in his direction. He drove around the barracks for a short time before driving out through a fence and the car coming to a halt in a ploughed field,” the public prosecutor explained. “After driving dangerously around the area, he decided to turn around although we are unsure why,” added Colonel Brevers, military commander of the Namur province.
The man, who was not armed, next fled on foot into a neighbouring residential area. The area was quickly cordoned off and the man was arrested around midday close to a house. The arrest was non-violent.
Despite being the perpetrator of an isolated crime in 2005, this Namur inhabitant is virtually unknown to the police and the authorities. “He was also unknown on our lists concerning radicalism. We have no reason to believe this was a terrorist threat and the entire incident is not thought to be terrorist-related. It being an isolated act or caused by mental disorder have not been ruled out. It’s too soon to draw any conclusions as yet,” stressed Vincent Macq.
The individual was due to appear before the investigating judge on Monday. The Defence minister, Steven Vandeput, moreover thanked “the military and other security services involved for their excellent and swift collaboration, as well as the professional resolution of this incident.