Updated: February 3, 2015 9:56:23 am
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.
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.
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.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.