PM announces five points of action after Brussels attack

The Belgian federal government is taking five concrete short-term measures in response to information about the events leading up to Monday's attack in Brussels, which claimed the lives of two Swedes. Prime minister Alexander De Croo underlined "the particularly serious individual error at the Brussels public prosecutor's office, with very serious consequences".

An extradition request made last year by Tunisia for Abdesalem Lassoued, the perpetrator of Monday night's attack, was not carried out because the magistrate in charge did not act on it. To avoid such mistakes in the future, the Brussels public prosecutor's office will appoint five additional magistrates and the ongoing problem of the appointment of the public prosecutor will be resolved.

In addition, the federal judicial police in Brussels will be reinforced by 50 officers and the railway police in Brussels will receive an additional 25 officers.

Information exchange

Comité I and Comité P, which monitor the intelligence and police services respectively, will be asked to analyse compliance with procedures and whether they are still adequate. The flow of information between the immigration service, the police and the judiciary will also be strengthened. These services will continue to analyse the events leading up to the attack in Brussels.

Justice minister Vincent Van Quickenborne announced his resignation on Friday evening after the investigation into Monday's terrorist attack showed that Tunisia's extradition request had not been acted on. He said he took responsibility for this "unacceptable mistake", calling it "an error with dramatic consequences". His replacement has not yet been named.


Interior minister Annelies Verlinden and prime minister Alexander De Croo © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

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