The European Parliament was evacuated yesterday after a bomb scare forced the closure of three official buildings in the Belgian capital.
Police were alerted to three possible bomb sites, including the American Embassy and the Brussels Court House called the ‘Palace of Justice’, the Flanders News website reports.
Belgian police have detained a man near the European Parliament who was found to have a gun and a chainsaw in his car parked on Rue Montoyer, right next to the Parliament building and its administrative offices.
The evacuation was triggered at 11 am on Monday morning and police have since revealed they have detained a 32 year old Slovakian man dressed in camouflage near the European Parliament. The man told police officers he wanted to meet the European president. Witnesses say the suspect was carrying car keys which fitted a nearby car that police subsequently searched using a snigger dog. The bomb disposal unit DOVO was also called to the scene.
The Brussels public prosecutor demanded his arrest for possession weapons without a license and threatening an attack but a magistrate will decide if he remains in custody.
Belgian police have had to make dozens of interventions and arrests after the terror alert was raised two weeks ago, following a raid in Verviers where two suspected jihadists were shot dead and a third person arrested. Weapons were also recovered in the anti terror raid in the East of the country, officials said.