Syrian held after taking photos of a Flemish church

Police in the East Flemish village of Laarne detained a Syrian man for nearly 24 hours after he took snapshots at a local church. The police were worried the man could have had terrorist intent.

The Syrian took three photos at the church last Sunday as he was about to visit his girlfriend in Laarne. Later in the day when he was returning to his girlfriend he is stopped by the police and quizzed about the photos.

He is then detained and his home raided.

Amar told Radio 2: "I am not a terrorist. They seized my smartphone and my laptop and held me for 23 hours."

Amar was also questioned: "They wanted to know if I was a jihadi fighter."

He understands the need for heightened security but thinks want happened was excessive: "Twelve police officers raided my house. I was taken from Wetteren to Aalst to spend the night in a cell. In the morning I had to make the journey back. They gave me two sandwiches and a litre of milk."

Prosecutors have meanwhile confirmed that Amar didn't do anything wrong.

Top stories