The news is disconcerting, the two brothers behind the Brussels attacks, Khalid and Ibrahim El Bakraoui, were also spying on an eminent researcher and were planning to build “dirty bomb.”
The Belgium’s Federal Agency for Nuclear Control confirmed that the nuclear expert spied by the terrorists is “one of the top researchers” at the SCKCEN Belgian nuclear research center in Mol, 45 miles northeast of Brussels.
“If terrorists are filming one of the top guys in the research center then it is very serious,” FANC spokesman Lodewijk van Bladel said. “It means they are planning to do something afterwards with that information … I don’t think they going to make a family movie.”
— DH.be (@ladh) 24 marzo 2016
The news was reported by the NBC News that cited an expert involved in a probe into ISIS threats.
According to Claude Moniquet, a French former intelligence official and CEO of the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center private consultancy, the El Bakraoui brothers planted a hidden camera outside the Belgian researcher’s house.
Officials confirmed the circumstances last month, the camera footage was seized during a Belgian raid in November.
This week Moniquet revealed to NBC News that the El Bakraoui brothers were behind that failed plot.
“The terrorist cell … naively believed they could use him to penetrate a lab to obtain nuclear material to make a dirty bomb,” he said.
Intelligence and law enforcement agencies are taking serious consideration possible attacks on nuclear plants in Europe, for this reason, extra security measures are adopted to protect these critical infrastructures.
Intelligence experts believe the terrorists were spying on the researcher to blackmail him to acquire nuclear material for their bombs, like radioisotopes stored in the center where the researcher is working.
“We can imagine that the terrorists might want to kidnap someone or kidnap his family,” said Nele Scheerlinck, spokeswoman for FANC.
(Security Affairs – Bruxelles attacks, ISIS)