Brussels terror alert: Fake suicide belt found

The alert triggered a large security operation
The alert triggered a large security operation

{BBC NEWS} – A man arrested amid an anti-terror operation at a shopping centre in Brussels was wearing a fake suicide belt containing salt and biscuits, the city’s prosecutor’s office says.

The man called police earlier in the morning claiming to have been abducted and made to wear an explosive belt.

Streets around the City 2 shopping centre were closed off and a bomb disposal unit deployed.

The man later said he had invented the whole story, according to prosecutors.

Authorities say the suspect, who was born in 1990 and has been identified only as JB, has a history of psychiatric problems.

Pictures obtained by Belgian newspaper Le Soir appeared to show him wearing an improvised belt, including wires and a phone.

‘Extremely vigilant’

According to prosecutors, he called police at 05:30 local time (03:30 GMT) claiming that he had been kidnapped, dropped off at the City 2 mall and that the suicide belt he was wearing could be detonated remotely.

After being arrested, the man described the car in which he was supposedly kidnapped, which was found in the Schaerbeek area.

He later admitted having simply memorised a random number plate after police questioned and then quickly released the driver of the car, prosecutors said. READ MORE OF THIS REPORT

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About Cholo Brooks 13790 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.