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Rue Neuve biscuit bomb hoaxer jailed for a year
A man wearing a fake explosive belt made of bags of biscuit crumbs, who prompted a terror scare on Brussels' Rue Neuve, has been jailed for a year.
The 28-year-old, identified as Jawad B, called police at 5.30 in the morning on 21 June 2016 claiming he had been kidnapped, made to put on a bomb belt and dropped outside City2 shopping centre.
Police and military immediately set up a secure perimeter around the site. The alert was a false alarm - the bomb belt had biscuits and salt inside it.
The court heard that a few days after the Brussels terror attacks in March 2016, Jawad B had also made a hoax call to police claiming to be the "man in the hat" sought by investigators from CCTV footage at Brussels airport. During the call, he threatened to put a bomb under a gas pipe in Molenbeek, leading to a major police operation.
The judge handed down a two-year prison sentence, of which one year was suspended subject to Jawad B not reoffending within five years. The hoaxer must undergo psychiatric treatment.
He was also ordered to pay a €1,800 fine and pay €15,000 in damages to the parties that registered as civil claimants in the case, including the police.