Outrage over anti-terrorism burglary
5 September 2006, BRUSSELS — Liberal MR Senator Alain Destexhe has demanded answers from the federal government about a burglary last Thursday night at the Brussels offices of the Mixed Anti-Terrorism Group.
5 September 2006
BRUSSELS — Liberal MR Senator Alain Destexhe has demanded answers from the federal government about a burglary last Thursday night at the Brussels offices of the Mixed Anti-Terrorism Group.
Group director Luc Verheyden said the burglary was the work of petty criminals and no important documents disappeared, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Tuesday.
"The thieves took a service weapon from a staff member and other easily-sold objects that they probably want to palm off on the black market, such as a motorbike jacket and small sums of money," Verheyden said.
The thieves also escaped with laptops from the building, which also houses the Health Ministry and a law office.
No arrests have been made. The Brussels public prosecution office is leading the investigation.
But Senator Destexhe said on Monday the incident was intolerable and incomprehensible. He said the anti-terror group is at the heart of the nation's 'war against terror' and has highly sensitive information at is disposal.
He was extremely critical of the fact the burglary alarm at the offices will not be installed until 2007.
Destexhe is demanding an emergency meeting of the Senate's justice and interior affairs commissions. Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx and Interior Minister Patrick Dewael would then have to answer some difficult questions.
The anti-terrorism unit was set up in 1994 and decides — based on police and intelligence service information — whether Belgium is at threat of terrorist or extremist attacks.
Meanwhile, newspaper 'De Morgen' reported on Tuesday that a serious security breach also took place at the offices of the military intelligence service.
A former member of the intelligence service was able to spend the entire night on his final day of work copying confidential and secret documents before walking outside unchallenged with boxes full documents.
Attempts to cover up the security breach meant the public prosecution office, federal Parliament and police were not informed until many weeks later, the unpublished 2005 annual report from the Committee I — which supervises the intelligence services — indicated.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news