The terrorists responsible for the bombing of the Brussels airport had also gathered information on Belgium’s nuclear power program, and may have been planning an attack on one of the nuclear power plants.
After the Paris attacks in November, the Belgian police had found in an ISIS cell 12 hours of spying footage recorded near the home of the director of the Belgian nuclear research program, reports Derniere Heure, a Belgian newspaper.
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A small camera had been placed outside of the home of the Belgian nuclear director, and the two people who had retrieved the camera are believed to be Khalid and Ibrahim El Bakraoui, the two brothers responsible for the Brussels suicide bombing.
The footage included images of a local bus, suggesting that the terrorists were spying on the director’s transportation habits, the Daily Mail reports.
Ibrahim el-Bakraoui was deported from Turkey to the Netherlands in the summer of 2015, and Turkey warned Belgium that el-Bakraoui might have been a foreign fighter in Syria, the Guardian reports.
On Feb. 17, after the footage had been analyzed, more than 140 soldiers were sent to guard the two nuclear power plants throughout Belgium.
The Islamic State’s spying on the nuclear program director has been confirmed by an anonymous U.S. official, according to CBS News.
Some suspect that a possible infiltration of a nuclear power plant had been averted because ISIS ringleader Salah Abdeslam, a participant in the Paris shootings, was finally captured last week, and that his arrest triggered the Brussel bombings.
The Brussels bombing of an airport and a subway station left 31 dead and 300 injured, and was the worst terrorist attack in Belgian history.
In February, Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said that there was only a threat “to the person in question, but not the nuclear facilities.”
“To date, we have no indication that there is a specific threat to the Belgian nuclear sites. The nuclear industry is one of the best protected areas,” Jambon said, the Independent reports.
Both of the Belgian nuclear power plants were briefly evacuated after the Brussels attack.