The arrest of a French suspect in connection with last weekend’s shooting at Brussels’ Jewish Museum has caused alarm after the discovery of his alleged connections with Syrian jihadist groups.
The 29-year-old thought to be the man caught on CCTV, was detained in Marseille. According to police, he had a Kalashnikov and another gun.
The French and Belgian governments immediately vowed to stop radicalised youths from carrying out such attacks.
Belgium’s Interior Minister Joelle Milquet said if the information proved to be accurate then it will have been the first attack by a person who has been to Syria and that is obviously a worrying development.
A forthcoming top level security meeting has suddenly become more timely.
France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the meeting between European interior ministers and their counterparts in Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco and Turkey would focus on taking measures to improve the flow of information between intelligence services. It would also hope to increase the discovery and surveillance of terrorism networks in all parts of the European Union.
An Israeli couple and a French woman were killed when a man entered the Jewish Museum in Brussels and opened fire. A Belgian man remains in a critical condition.
The attack has evoked memories of the killing of four Jews in 2012 at a school in France by Mohamed Merah, a gunman inspired by al Qaeda.