550 troops will remain on the streets until at least February

The Federal Cabinet has announced that 550 soldiers will remain on the streets and in position protecting a number of buildings until at least next February. Soldiers have been deployed as support for the police since January 2015 the soldiers patrol the streets in big cities such as Brussels and Antwerp and protect buildings as part of Operation Vigilant Guardian.  

At the start of the year the organisation that analyses the threat from terrorism OCAD reduced the terror threat warning level applicable to the whole of Belgium from 3 to 2 with the exception of at or near to a number of specific sites. In June the Federal Government then decided to reduce the number of troops involved in Operation Vigilant Guardian to 550. At the height of the terrorist threat 1,800 troops were deployed.   

The most recent terrorism threat analysis that dates from 11 December put the terror threat level at 2 with the exception of some specific potential targets. The Federal Government has decided to keep the number of troops deployed at current levels for the time being at least.