October 27, 2015: Belgian authorities have mooted any rumors of the Flawinne Barracks attack to be linked with any terrorist organizations. A partially masked man on Monday rammed his car into the military facility situated 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Namur, a city in the French speaking part of Belgium. No casualties have been reported so far.
According to Belgian authorities, the man crashed his car into the army barracks over a personal agenda. His psychological health condition cannot be overlooked according to prosecutor, Vincent Macq in a press conference. The attacker was apprehended after a three-hour manhunt.
So far there have been no links established between the man who attacked the barracks that is home to Belgium’s Second Commando Battalion of 650 soldiers and any terrorist organization. The main line of inquiry is that he is mentally unstable and undertook the mischief based on a personal agenda.
“The likelihood that this was an isolated incident, even the act of a mentally impaired individual, cannot be excluded,” prosecutor Macq said. He added that the man had been a candidate to join the military in 2010 and may be the attack was the result of a personal vendetta.
At the time of the incident only 50 soldiers were present at the facility. Majority of the battalion is currently taking part in a joint military exercise in Spain.
Col. Marc Brevers, the military commander for Namur Province, said that the aforementioned military facility has no link to any operations in the Middle East.
12 warning shots were fired to ward off the perpetrator from the premises. The incident started when a guard at the main entrance of the facility refused to let the man, whose identity has been kept anonymous by the authorities, inside the barracks. He backed his car to gain momentum and rammed it into the main gate. Upon entrance, 12 warning shots were fired that forced him to plow into the wall fence. His car, a dark colored Ford Focus, stuck into the muddy field outside, from there he ran on foot and was at large for three hours.
During the manhunt, law enforcement authorities searched the neighborhood while schools and health facilities were warned. The incident was reported live on the media and visibly shook up locals in Belgium who are still trying to move on from the terrorist attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels last year by Islamic State jihadists.
After a three-hour search of the canvassed area, the man was finally arrested. Belgian Defense Minister, Stephen Vandeput visited the site of the incident. He is overseeing the investigation and is convinced with the line of inquiry.
“There are no reasons at this point to assume that there is terrorism involved,” he said while speaking with reporters.
Earlier in January this year, Belgian police shot two men in Verviers who were suspected to be members of a terrorist outfit planning an attack in the country. In the light of these previous attacks, the Namur incident was immediately linked to a potential act of terrorism but so far, it appears that there is no link between the aforementioned attacks and the one that happened at the Flawinne Barracks.