Belgium Is Worried Over 10 Hours of Video of a House

Footage was seized from Mohamed Bakkali after the Paris attacks
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2016 9:28 AM CST
Authorities say the plotters of the Paris attacks kept an apartment on this street in Charleroi, Belgium.   (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

(Newser) – Footage found in the possession of a man arrested after the Paris terror attacks may point to a plot involving radioactive material. Authorities say a 10-hour surveillance video seized from Mohamed Bakkali on Nov. 30 shows the home of a senior Belgian nuclear official who has access to secure areas of the Belgian Nuclear Research Center in Mol, report the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. The purpose of the footage, whose existence was confirmed this week, isn't clear. A rep for Belgium's federal prosecutor says "there is no element that says that this was to perpetrate an attack." But some suggest it may have been groundwork for a plan to abduct the official to gain access to material needed to create a dirty bomb—basically a normal bomb but with "radiological material strapped to it," an expert tells the Times.

Belgium's interior minister says government officials who watched the undated footage—apparently shot from a camera placed in nearby bushes, reports AFP—found there was a threat "to the person in question, but not the nuclear facilities." Sebastien Berg, a rep for Belgium's Federal Agency for Nuclear Control, however, says authorities had "concrete indications that showed that the terrorists involved in the Paris attacks had the intention to do something involving one of our four nuclear sites," the others being two power plants and a producer of medical isotopes. Berg says workers at the Mol facility had been advised to be extra watchful, but that no extra security staff was put in place.

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