Brussels remains on highest security alert amid ‘imminent threat’

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details 22.11.15
Publication Date 22/11/2015
Content Type

The Belgian government raised the terror threat for the Brussels region to its highest level on Saturday 21 November 2015, warning that the risk of an attack was 'serious and imminent' and urged citizens to stay home but remain calm.

Brussels locked down with authorities closing the city's underground transport system and public buildings, and warning people to keep away from crowded areas in the face of the threat of coordinated attacks by armed militants. Police and soldiers patrolled the streets of the city.

Brussels remained locked down for a second day under a maximum security alert on the 22 November 2015. Authorities said they were looking for several suspects linked to the Paris terror attacks of the 13 November 2015. Belgian police arrested 21 people late on the 22 November 2015 in their search for those connected with the Paris attacks of 13 November 2015, but failed to find the prime suspect Salah Abdeslam.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel announced late on the 22 November 2015 that the city would remain on high alert on Monday 23 November 2015. The Council of the European Union raised its alert level to orange from yellow and cancelled all non-essential meetings. Other EU institutions would work, but with increased security checks and some meetings cancelled.

Mr Michel announced on the 23 November 2015 that Brussels would maintain the unprecedented security measures in place for at least another week as it continued to face an imminent and serious threat of a major terrorist attack. However, schools and the metro would reopen from the 25 November 2015.

The commentators in the media were divided. The Belgian government was doing the right thing by taking no chances, some commentators wrote. Others lamented that the terrorists had achieved their goal of spreading a climate of fear and panic.

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