Security visibly tightened in EU quarter in Brussels
20 September 2005, BRUSSELS — Security was visibly tighter in the EU quarter of Brussels on Tuesday, but Belgian authorities have dismissed speculation of a heightened terror alert.
20 September 2005
BRUSSELS — Security was visibly tighter in the EU quarter of Brussels on Tuesday, but Belgian authorities have dismissed speculation of a heightened terror alert.
Instead, the Belgian crisis centre said it consciously wanted to make security measures more visible, starting from today.
Various entrances to the Justus Lipsius building were blocked by containers filled with sand, while federal police offers were stationed at other entrances.
In the afternoon, parts of the Schuman square were barricaded off to the public, news agency Belga reported.
Journalists and diplomats were allowed to enter the Justus Lipsius building, but the sensitivity of metal detectors had been increased.
The official alarm level in the European quarter remains at the lowest level and the heightened security measures have been attributed to a combination of two factors.
First, an exercise with extra security measures had already been planned. That exercise was brought forward to Tuesday and involved the improved guarding of entrances.
And second, the Belgian authorities have decided to make security more visible in the EU quarter.
After the terrorist attacks in London in July, security was tightened but this was not visible to observers.
The Interior Ministry's crisis centre said a decision was then made to make security more visible as a precautionary measure.
It said the decision was based on analyses conducted by intelligence agencies, but refused to comment further.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news