Several arrested for threats against Belgian Minister of Justice, who suspends his public schedule

At least three people have been arrested in the Netherlands last night for threats to the Belgian Minister of Justice and Deputy Prime Minister, Vincent Van Quickenborne, who has had to reinforce security measures and cancel part of his public agenda due to the “seriousness” of the situation.

The judicial authorities have confirmed the operation without giving further details, although the Flemish newspaper ‘Het Laatse Nieuws’ reports that early Friday a vehicle with weapons and explosives was located in the vicinity of the minister’s residence.

“The first elements of the investigation have quickly indicated that the threat was to be taken seriously,” the Federal Prosecutor’s Office has indicated in a statement picked up by Europa Press in which it reports the arrest of three suspects on Dutch territory and whose transfer has been requested by the Belgian authorities.

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The Prosecutor’s Office has avoided giving more details about the operation because the investigation is still ongoing, although it has pointed out that the minister has canceled several public events in which he had planned to participate over the next few days.

According to the aforementioned newspaper, the alarm was triggered when a vehicle was found parked in the residential neighborhood where Van Quickenborne’s home is located in the Flemish town of Cortrique (western Belgium).

The vehicle, with Dutch license plates, was found to contain Kalashnikovs, explosive material and other elements that could be gas cylinders, according to the information gathered by the same newspaper.

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The National Crisis Center has “immediately” taken the necessary measures to place the Minister of Justice under “reinforced security”, said the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, which insists that it will not inform of the measures and thanks the journalists who had “certain information” for heeding its request not to disseminate it “in the interest of the investigation”.

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