Fourth suspect in case of threat to Belgian minister still without a trace

A fourth suspect in the threat posed by Belgian Justice Minister Van Quickenborne is still on the run, Belgian media report. Last night, three Dutch people were arrested because of the threat against the politician.

It is unknown whether it concerns a Dutch suspect or someone from another country. The Belgian Public Prosecutor does not want to comment on it. A spokesperson for justice in the Netherlands does not confirm the news.

The three Dutch men aged 20, 29 and 48 were arrested in the region of The Hague. Belgian media reports that the threat comes from the drug environment and there is said to be an attempt to kidnap Van Quickenborne. He has been placed under enhanced police supervision.

Petrol and kalashnikovs

Earlier this week, a car containing kalashnikovs, other firearms and two bottles of gasoline was found near the minister‘s home, reports the VRT. The car had a Dutch license plate. The arrested men would be led by serious criminals from the drug circuit.

The minister was scheduled to attend an event in Kortrijk tonight, but there he was replaced by Belgian Prime Minister De Croo. He is a member of Van Quickenborne’s party. The minister did address the attendees in a video.

This afternoon, the administrator already announced on social media that he and his family members are safe. โ€œIn our democratic rule of law, we will never advocate violence. Never,โ€ he wrote.

Combating crime

Van Quickenborne has been Minister of Justice since 2020 and has firmly stepped up the fight against crime. Since March last year, hundreds of people have been arrested because of Operation Limit, which is also known in Belgian media as Operation Sky ECC. This used cracked messages that criminals sent to each other via the secure messaging service Sky ECC. This investigation also led to arrests in the Netherlands.

The minister also announced that he would โ€œgo after dozens of leaders in Dubaiโ€. In the United Arab Emirates, he signed several treaties at the end of last year to make it easier to detect criminals. Ridouan Taghi was also arrested in Dubai at the end of 2019.