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Three suspects arrested on Flixbus released, no terror threat

17:34 11/01/2024

The three people arrested Thursday after Belgian police stopped a Flixbus travelling between Lille and Brussels have been released, confirmed the East Flanders prosecutor’s office, reports RTBF.

A passenger had alerted the police after hearing the fellow passengers talking about a planned attack.

The bus was redirected to the Wetteren traffic police station where all 46 people on board, including the driver, had to get out of the bus one by one with their hands in the air.

An investigation was opened and the three people who allegedly spoke of an attack were arrested and questioned.

The interior was searched with two explosive detection dogs along with the luggage. The sweeping was negative, said investigators. The three suspects were eventually released.

There was no indication that it was a terrorist threat, said the prosecution office. "It seems that the witness misjudged the situation. He reported these comments thinking he was doing the right thing. We examined everything and verified the statements, but there is no indication that it was indeed a terrorist threat." said Hanne Olivier, spokesperson for the prosecution.

The three released are young people in their twenties who were due to take a flight on Thursday from Zaventem to Australia. They missed their flight following the incident, as did other passengers on the bus who were due to catch connections.

The witness who reported these comments about a potential terrorist threat will not be prosecuted as there did not appear to have been any malicious intent, the prosecution added.

Photo: ©FlixBux

This article was updated on 12 January at 9.00 following new information from the prosecution office.

Written by The Bulletin