Brussels attacks: the threat level remains high one year on

Brussels attacks: the threat level remains high one year on
The Belgian government has decided, at least for now, to maintain the terror threat level at 3.© Belga

Throughout the whole of Belgium, the terrorist threat level still remains at 3, considered as “serious”. This is the position one year after the March 22nd Brussels attacks. The Threat Assessment Coordination Body (OCAM), which analyses information from several services including State Security, says that the threat remains both possible and likely.

Since January 15th, 2015, Belgium has been as a minimum at threat level 3, on the scale of 1 to 4. Moreover, it has witnessed two phases at level 4, one in November 2015, during the Brussels “lockdown”, and a second on March 22nd, 23rd and 24th, 2016.

After the attacks carried out at Zaventem airport and the Maelbeek metro, OCAM had increased the threat level across the entire country to its maximum (4 – a serious and imminent threat). It then brought this back down to level 3 from March 24th. The threat level has not been reduced since that time.

Maintaining the threat level at 3 has led to the strengthening of security measures across the whole of Belgium. This has particularly been the case around strategic locations and those with high concentrations of people. Specific protective measures also apply to certain popular events, depending upon whether they are desired following a local police operational analysis.

Furthermore, more than 1,000 members of the army are present in the streets to support the police with its surveillance tasks.

At the beginning of March, OCAM decided not to increase the threat level following the publication of an Internet video, which appeared to indicate that Antwerp station was at risk of a terrorist threat.

The Internet clip, which is very short, shows a man walking in the area around Antwerp station. He is holding a piece of paper in his hand with the logo of the terrorist organisation Islamic State bearing the message “We are still here”.

The Brussels Times

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