Sunday 18 February 2018

Brussels attacks: Nuclear alert after security officer found dead with his pass stolen

Officials have cancelled the guard's pass amid fears that terrorists were planning a dirty bomb strike on a nuclear power facility

Masked Belgian police in Brussels this week. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Masked Belgian police in Brussels this week. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

TWO days after bomb attacks at Brussels airport and on a packed metro killed 31 people and injured hundreds, a security guard who worked at a Belgian nuclear plant was murdered and his pass was stolen, Belgian media reported today.

The French language Derniere Heure (DH) newspaper reported the security guard's badge was de-activated as soon as it was discovered he had been shot dead in the Charleroi region of Belgium and his badge stolen.

A police spokeswoman said she could not comment because an investigation was ongoing.

Read more: Brussels attacks: Police arrest man with 'case of explosives'

Survivors: Two wounded women pictured in Brussels airport after Tuesday's attack.
Survivors: Two wounded women pictured in Brussels airport after Tuesday's attack.
A policeman in forensic overalls leaves a house in the Brussels suburb of Schaerbeek (AP)
A couple embrace in front of tributes placed in a memorial for victims of the recent attacks on Brussels at the Place de la Bourse in Brussels.

In a nation on high alert following this week's attacks, the report stokes fears about the possibility militants are seeking to get hold of nuclear material or planning to attack a nuclear site.

On Thursday, DH had reported the suicide bombers who blew themselves up on Tuesday originally considered targeting a nuclear site, but a series of arrests of suspect militants forced them to speed up their plans and instead switch focus to the Belgian capital.

Read more: The extremist strategy that thrives on chaos and disorder

Late last year, investigators found a video tracking the movements of a man linked to the country's nuclear industry during a search of a flat as part of investigations into the Islamist militant attack on Paris on Nov. 13 that killed 130 people.

The video, lasting several hours, showed footage of the entrance to a home in northern Belgium and the arrival and departure of the director of Belgium's nuclear research programme.

Read more: Three arrested, two shot in leg, in police raids in Brussels

Reuters

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