Tighter security, but no terror threat in Belgium
10 August 2006, BRUSSELS — There is no terror threat in Belgium or against the international institutes based in the country, Defence Minister André Flahaut said on Thursday.
10 August 2006
BRUSSELS — There is no terror threat in Belgium or against the international institutes based in the country, Defence Minister André Flahaut said on Thursday.
The minister was speaking after the federal government's security committee met to discuss the situation following the terror alert in the UK.
Despite the fact there is no terror threat in Belgium, security has been tightened nonetheless at Zaventem Airport in Brussels for all flights to the US.
Security personnel at the Charleroi and Deurne airports have also been put on alert, commercial broadcaster VTM reported.
Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt had earlier requested the College for Intelligence and Security to monitor the situation and meet to discuss the matter.
He also reacted with relief to the news on Thursday that British intelligence services had thwarted the planned terrorist attacks.
British police swung into action overnight to thwart a "mass murder" plan to bomb multiple planes flying between the UK and the US.
A total of 21 suspects were arrested and all UK airports were put on a high security alert.
Verhofstadt praised the British authorities for their "vigorous action" to prevent the terrorist bombings, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported.
All Heathrow-bound flights from Zaventem Airport in Brussels were cancelled on Thursday, while delays were being reported with many other flights as the airport filled with stranded passengers.
SN Brussels Airlines, Virgin Express and Ryanair said they would repay passengers or exchange their tickets for flights bound elsewhere to the UK.
The cancellations and delays at Zaventem were mirrored across Europe as European flight schedules were thrown into chaos by the British terror alert.
In other news, airline and travel shares fell across Europe after Scotland Yard said it had disrupted the terrorist plot.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news