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DFAT issues new terror alert for Belgium

June 28, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Belgium, hard hit by terror attacks over the past year, may be in for a new round, authorities are warning.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) issued the following advisory alert yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 27 June 2017):

“​We continue to receive information that terrorists may be planning further attacks in Belgium. An attack could occur at any time. Exercise particular caution around locations known to be possible terrorist targets. Monitor the news and other sources for changes to local conditions. The level of this advice has not changed. Exercise a high degree of caution in Belgium overall.”

Meanwhile, Belgian prosecutors confirm that a man who tried to set off a bomb at Brussels Central Station last week was a 36-year-old Moroccan.

The device, consisting of nails and gas canisters inside a bag, failed to fully detonate, after which the man shouted “Allahu akbar” and rushed towards a soldier on patrol. The soldier shot him dead.

The attacker lived in the notorious Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, which has a large immigrant population and harboured some of those involved in ISIS attacks on Paris and Brussels in 2015 and 2016.

While “borderless” Europe makes tourism easier, it also makes it easier for terrorists to move around between countries once they enter Europe.

Meanwhile, with France having lived under emergency law for 20 months following terror attacks, the country’s new president Emmanuel Macron is considered likely to make emergency police powers permanent.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has confirmed he wants to give police enhanced powers to order searches and house arrests. The new rules will be announced later this week.

Written by Peter Needham

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