"I had to cancel because preparations for an attack weren't complete"

Police yesterday arrested a man who shared a jail cell with Benjamin Herman, the man who shot dead two women police officers and a passer-by in a terrorist attack in Liege.  The man was enjoying a conditional discharge from prison.  In an interview with a journalist on De Morgen he spoke “threatening language”.

Fouad B. features on the list of radicalised IS sympathisers compiled by the terror threat analysis body OCAD.  He had been jailed following several thefts and violent incidents.  Investigators are trying to establish whether he was responsible for the radicalisation of Herman, who was killed by police.

Fouad B. was freed a week ahead of the Liege attack, but failed to comply with the conditions of his release and was subsequently being tracked down.  Members of a special police team made the arrest in Verviers in eastern Belgium.  One officer was injured when he accidentally shot himself in the foot.

It was De Morgen journalist Bruno Struys, who alerted the police, after Fouad B. spoke threatening language in an interview.

Bruno Struys: "I immediately contacted the police.  As a journalist it's not something I like to do, but the things he said in the interview were so serious and given his criminal record I had no choice."

"It was immediately clear to me that he held very radicalised views and is part of IS.  He claimed he was responsible for the radicalisation of Herman.  He told me that one of the reasons why a previous meeting could not go ahead was the fact that he hadn't finalised preparations for an attack in Liege."

"He had clearly drunk alcohol despite the Ramadan”.      

Top stories