‘Brussels museum attack could have been prevented’

There are allegations that Brussels police received information before the attack that might have allowed for Mehdi Nemmouche's arrest or prevented him from leaving the country.

By JOSEPH STRICH
November 23, 2014 02:23
1 minute read.
Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting.

Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting.. (photo credit: BELGIUM POLICE)

The Brussels Jewish Museum attack could have been avoided, according to French daily Le Monde’s website, citing Belgian media reports.

Belgian police may have committed “a significant blunder,” which prevented apprehending Mehdi Nemmouche, the 29 year-old French jihadi who attacked bystanders with a Kalashnikov (assault rifle) on May 24, killing four people – a male Belgian museum employee, a female French volunteer and Israeli tourists Emanuel and Miriam Riva.

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The event occurred at the museum’s entrance and video cameras showed the murderer leaving the site on foot.

The French newspaper repeated allegations that Brussels police received information regarding the origin of the weapon, and a Belgian informer might have known of its whereabouts within the city, prior to the attack.

“Because of the great importance the police gave to this affair, the informant was asked to quickly write a confidential report and to transfer it to the anti-terrorist police... ” Le Monde wrote, adding that, unfortunately, “the policeman didn’t do his job on time.”

Anonymous sources quoted by the newspaper, argue that this could have enabled Nemmouche’s apprehension, or at least provided information about his intentions to leave for France.

He was arrested in Marseille one week after the attack during a routine check of a bus arriving from Brussels. He is now in prison in Bruges, following his extradition by French authorities.

Le Monde reported that Brussels police reacted defensively to the developments, adding that information about the Kalashnikov came after the shooting.

But Belgian news outlets reported that the anti-terrorist policeman and his superior have been suspended and the Belgian Federal Police has launched an investigation.


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