Dutch nationals arrested after threat to Belgian justice minister

Belgian Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne has been placed under increased police protection, and three suspects have been arrested in the Netherlands following a “threat” against the official, the federal prosecutor’s office announced on Saturday.

According to the Flemish daily Het Laatste Nieuws, “at least” an assault rifle and bottles filled with petrol were discovered inside a vehicle registered in the Netherlands, spotted near the minister’s home.

The Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said in a press release that three people had been arrested overnight from Friday to Saturday in the Netherlands.

The men are all Dutch nationals, aged 20, 29 and 48, according to officials. Their transfer to Belgium has been requested.

“My family and I are safe. Our fight against organised crime continues. With more manpower and resources than ever. We will never bow to violence,” Mr. Van Quickenborne wrote on Twitter.

The Belgian federal prosecutor’s office confirmed that it had been “informed during the last week of a possible threat” to the Minister of Justice. 

An investigation lead by a judge “quickly indicated that this threat should be taken seriously.”

The minister has been placed under tighter police surveillance, and will not take part in events during the next few days as a security precaution.

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