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European Parliament evacuated, man in camouflage arrested

Police found a firearm and a chainsaw in the car but no explosives, said public prosecutor's office.

By: Associated Press | Brussels |
Updated: February 3, 2015 9:56:23 am
Europe terror, EU Parliament , European Parliament, Terrorism, Policemen and a security officer stand outside a European Parliament building in Brussels on Monday. (Source: AP Photo)

Belgian police evacuated hundreds of people Monday from the European Parliament to search a car for explosives, then arrested the owner- a man clad in camouflage they said had been behaving suspiciously.

Four European Parliament administrative buildings and its visitors’ center in central Brussels were cleared as a precautionary measure while the vehicle was searched, the assembly said in a statement.

Police found a firearm and a chainsaw in the car but no explosives, according to the public prosecutor’s office.

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The suspect, identified as a Slovak national born in 1982, was charged with “threatening an attack, possession of an illegal weapon and unauthorized possession of a firearm requiring a license.”

The man “said that he wanted to meet the president of the parliament,” a prosecutor’s office statement said. Parliament spokesman Jaume Duch Guillot said about 500 people were evacuated from the buildings.

Belgium, Europe terrorism, European Union Two Belgian soldiers patrol outside EU headquarters in Brussels on Monday. (Source: AP Photo)

Police gave the all-clear just before 1 pm Brussels time, and staff returned to their offices. The suspect, who showed no signs of aggression throughout, declined to explain his behavior to police.

Belgium has been on high alert since the January 7-9 Paris terror attacks and a series of police raids on suspected foreign fighters in Belgium and France last month.

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