Authorities in Brussels have found frightening footage in the safe house used by the Brussels terrorists which shows that they were preparing an attack on a nuclear power plant. In preparation for that attack, they had recorded 12 hours of reconnaissance footage according to Security officials. The ISIS cell was spying on Belgium’s nuclear power chief, possibly as part of a kidnap plan to force him to let them into an atomic facility, according to the newspaper, Derniere Heure.
Hours of film of the home of the Research and Development Director of the Belgian Nuclear Program were discovered in an apartment in Brussels raided by anti-terrorist police following the attack in Paris. However, authorities said that some of their accomplices were arrested last week in raids conducted by security teams and that may have forced them to switch targets to Brussels airport.
The footage confounded investigators at first – as it showed the entrance to the director’s home in Flanders, an area outside the capital. But detectives made the chilling deduction that the group was attempting to gain entry to an atomic facility after watching all 12 hours of footage, which included images of a local bus. As a precaution, the government dispatched armed troops to defend French and Belgian nuclear facilities following the discovery and both countries nuclear program were put on the highest state of alert.
There had been rumors that terrorists were planning such an attack, but with no firm evidence, there was little authorities could do other than increase security. Those early rumors were linked back to the cell responsible for the Paris attacks and with them all accounted for, there didn’t seem to be any necessity for more The new footage was discovered ‘as part of seizures made following the Paris attacks,’ a Belgian prosecutor said, refusing to divulge the individual’s identity ‘for obvious security reasons’.
At the time, Belgium’s federal agency for nuclear control stressed the importance of not revealing the name of the person involved so as ‘not to endanger the enquiry or nuclear security’ or indeed the person involved and their family. The images were captured by a camera hidden in nearby bushes and recovered by two suspects who left the area in a vehicle with the lights off, Derniere Heure reported.
However, reports in February did not publicly name Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui – the brothers we now know are responsible for the Brussels bombings – as the creators of the footage. The claims give further credence to the links now established, at least publicly, between the Paris and Brussels bombings.
The bombings in the Belgian capital on Tuesday which killed 31 people are now believed to have been carried out because the authorities were closing in on the remaining fugitive members of the terror cell.
So while things were bad in Brussels, they could have been a whole lot worse for a lot more people had Belgum authorites not been hot on the heels of the ISIS terrorists.
The Associated Press, Reuters and Sky News contributed to this story.
©2016 R. L. Grimes