Five suspects were arrested in the immediate vicinity of the National Institute for Forensics and Criminology (INFC) at Neder-Over-Heembeek. This followed a fire, which was started deliberately last night around 2 a.m. This was indicated today (Monday) by the Brussels Public Prosecutor’s Office, during a press conference at 11 a.m. Nobody was injured. Owing to the late hour at which the incident occurred, there was nobody in the building.
The Public Prosecutor has started an investigation into arson and explosion damage.
The hypothesis of its being a terrorist act has not yet been confirmed. The ongoing investigation envisages potentially a number of different possible avenues. Indeed, it is in the interests of several individuals to see incriminating evidence in their legal case destroyed.
The INFC is a scientific institution of the FPS Justice responsible for completing expert opinions.
Given that this organisation plays a fundamental role in the justice system, the prosecutor considers that this location was not chosen by chance. The INFC holds sensitive information relating to several investigations in progress and judicial files.
The hearings of the five suspects are in progress to determine their involvement in the incident.
What is currently clear is that several perpetrators forced entry to the INFC by means of their vehicle and were able to reach the wing housing the forensic laboratories.
The theory of the use of ram-raiding as a means of penetrating the buildings was not, in fact, the case. Only the railings had been forced open. Witnesses have spoken of hearing several explosions but their origin has not yet been determined.
The Brussels Public Prosecutor’s Office, has not yet given details on the modus operandi used by the perpetrators, owing to the fact that expert assessments have not yet been completed on the premises.
The army bomb disposal service is currently on site and a fire expert has been designated. The intention is that during today, the latter will visit the premises with the Public Prosecutor.
The building damage is evidently significant but cannot yet be quantified.