Foiled Miss Belgium pageant attack: Suspect arrested for attempted terrorist murder

A Belgian investigating judge arrested Peter C. on suspicion of terrorist murder on Sunday. The 46-year-old man was detained Saturday night in the coastal town of De Panne for allegedly planning an attack during the Miss Belgium pageant held the same evening.

The suspect was detained on Saturday night in the parking lot of Plopsaland theme park in De Panne along with a Dutch woman. Peter C. was caught in possession of a handgun and a firearm and bulletproof vest were found in his car.

"The investigation showed that he probably wanted to carry out an attack during the Miss Belgium pageant, which was due to take place a short time later at Plopsaland. Peter C.'s exact motives are still unclear. He was not known to either police or security services," the Federal Prosecutor's Office said in a press release on Saturday.

Several media outlets report that the police were alerted to the threat as early as Saturday afternoon, after intercepting a message from the partner of the man threatening an attack. Police deployed in force towards De Panne, checked all the access roads to Plopsaland and eventually intercepted the suspect. 

On Sunday, the man was arrested by the investigating judge in Bruges on suspicion of attempted terrorist murder. The investigating judge has not yet made a decision regarding the Dutchwoman who accompanied him, the public prosecutor's office said. 

Peter C. is due to appear before the council chamber of the Bruges court of first instance within five days. Nothing has been confirmed about the man's motives. According to VRT Nieuws, the suspect had recently separated from his partner and was struggling with mental health issues.



People waiting outside as the Miss Belgium pageant venue in Plopsaland in De Panne, Belgium, is cleared and searched © BELGA PHOTO KURT DESPLENTER

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels