A 36-year-old man was killed Wednesday in Belgium during an exchange of fire with the police during an operation against a project of “terrorist attack” planned by relatives of the extreme right, announced the federal prosecutor’s office .
The investigation, led by an investigating judge from Antwerp (northern Belgium), targets “a milieu suspected of belonging to the far right” and facts of “breach of the legislation on weapons”, says a press release from the prosecution.
It gave rise Wednesday morning to a dozen searches in Dutch-speaking Belgium, in particular in Ghent and Antwerp, and it was during one of them that the fatal exchange of gunfire took place. “During one of these interventions, an exchange of gunfire took place between the police and one of the people present in a building. This person is deceased,” the statement said.
“Very many weapons and ammunition” were found
It is a 36-year-old man who was fatally injured in his home in Merksem, a district of the city of Antwerp, the public prosecutor’s office of the Flemish city said at midday. “He succumbed to his injuries on the spot,” it was added.
The searches, adds the federal prosecutor’s office, “allowed the seizure of a large number of weapons and ammunition, the count and analysis of which will have to be carried out in the coming days”. “Some weapons contained on the site were legally registered”, it is still indicated.
The surveillance of far-right circles by the intelligence services and the justice system has been reinforced in Belgium since the case of Jürgen Conings, a radicalized soldier linked to the far right who had fled his barracks with weapons and ammunition in spring 2021. This 46-year-old soldier, on file with the Belgian terrorist threat analysis organization (Ocam), was suspected of wanting to attack representatives of the Belgian state and a known virologist.
He had been found dead in a wooded area of the Dutch-speaking province of Limburg after a hunt for more than a month. The inquest concluded it was suicide by firearm.