The body analysing the terror threat, OCAD, said that the terror alert levels remain unchanged. This means 3 on a scale of 4 in general, and 2 for the police stations in particular.
However, extra attention will be paid to the issue of a possible attack on police officers as staff will be asked to be extra vigilant, making it a 2+, Michel told a news conference.
The 2+ level is not new and has been in force in the past. It means that police officers have to wear bullet-free vests, and that they can take a weapon home if they want. They are also asked not to wear a uniform when commuting to and from work. Charles Michel did not give further details.
Man apprehended in Liège
Police trades unions had asked for the police terror threat to be lifted to 3 after yesterday's outrage in Charleroi, and are not entirely happy with the situation.
Yesterday, two female police officers were attacked inside a police station by a man carrying a machete. They sustained heavy injuries. Everyone is on the alert now. This was shown this morning, when a man was apprehended in Liège. He was carrying a machete, but did not use his weapon and has no criminal record.
Unprecedented safety measures in the Wetstraat
While the terror threat level remains unchanged, unprecedented safety measures were taken in the Wetstraat today, where Charles Michel had returned from his holiday to discuss the situation (photo below). The entrance to his office was blocked with extra fences, there were extra army vehicles patrolling and soldiers were seen carrying machine guns.
Today's safety measures were only a taste of what is to come. In future, journalists will no longer have direct contact with politicians before or after important talks. The politicians will go inside immediately under protection and will not linger on the sidewalk to supply quotes. This is already the case in Downing Street 10.