Brussels on edge over 'bomb belt'

Belgian forces were deployed and tight security checks carried out in Brussels yesterday after police received a phone call from a man claiming he had been abducted and forced to wear an explosives belt. It turned out to be a fake bomb belt containin
Belgian forces were deployed and tight security checks carried out in Brussels yesterday after police received a phone call from a man claiming he had been abducted and forced to wear an explosives belt. It turned out to be a fake bomb belt containing just salt and biscuits.PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

BRUSSELS • A man wearing a fake bomb belt containing just salt and biscuits yesterday ignited an anti-terror operation in a busy commercial district in Brussels, where 1.2 million people remained jittery after a terrorist attack in March.

Police identified the man only as J.B., born in 1990, who had called police to say he had been abducted and forced to don an explosives belt.

A Brussels prosecutors spokesman said the suspect was suffering from psychiatric problems and was under investigation for links to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The Belgian capital had been on edge under a high security alert three months after three ISIS suicide bombers blew themselves up at Brussels Airport and in a metro train, killing 32 people.

SEE TOP OF THE NEWS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2016, with the headline 'Brussels on edge over 'bomb belt''. Print Edition | Subscribe