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Video of Belgian nuclear official seized in Paris attacks probe

Published on February 17, 2016

Investigators probing last year's deadly jihadist attacks in Paris have found video footage of a senior Belgian nuclear official, the federal prosecutor said Wednesday.

The Belgian prosecutor confirmed the existence of “images mentioned by the press this morning regarding a person linked to the nuclear industry,” in reference to a report in the daily La Derniere Heure.

The footage was discovered “as part of seizures made following the Paris attacks,” the prosecutor added, refusing to divulge the individual’s identity “for obvious security reasons”.

France has been under a state of emergency since jihadist gunmen attacked several sites in Paris on November 13, killing 130 people and leaving 350 wounded.

Since mid-November, 11 people have been arrested and charged in Belgium in connection with the killings. Key suspect Salah Abdeslam and his associate Mohamed Abrini, both from the Molenbeek area of Brussels, are still at large.

Belgian officials did not wish to give any details about how the video footage of the nuclear official had come to light.

According to the Derniere Heure, the man who was “spied on” was director of Belgium’s nuclear research and development programme.

The 10-hour long video footage showed the front door of a home in the Flanders region, the paper added.

Belgium’s federal agency for nuclear control said it was aware of the interest in the story but stressed the importance of not revealing the name of the person or the property involved so as “not to endanger the enquiry or nuclear security” or indeed the person involved and their family.

The images were captured by a camera hidden in nearby bushes and recovered by two suspects who left the area in a vehicle with the lights off, the newspaper report said.

It was discovered by investigators during one of the numerous searches carried out in Belgium since the Paris attacks.

The paper said it was not possible to date the seized video, and therefore to know whether it was taken before or after the November attacks.

Eight of the 11 suspects arrested in Belgium are still being held.