BRUSSELS, Belgium (AFP) – A man with psychiatric problems who was carrying a fake suicide belt full of salt and biscuits was arrested Tuesday after he triggered a major anti-terror operation at a Brussels shopping mall, prosecutors said.
Belgium remains on high alert after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group claimed double bomb attacks in March that left 32 people dead at Brussels main airport and at a metro station near the headquarters of the European Union.
Prosecutors said the 26-year-old man, identified only as J.B., said he fabricated his earlier claim that he had been abducted and driven to the City 2 mall in central Brussels fitted with an explosives belt for remote detonation.
“After an initial inspection it was confirmed that it contained salt and biscuits. Any threat of an explosion has been initially ruled out,” prosecutor’s spokesman Rym Kechiche said in a statement.