נמל תעופה בריסל בלגיה
Brussels Airport
Photo: Shutterstock
Security personnel stand at a departure hall evacuated due to a suspected bomb threat

Woman arrested in Brussels in suspected Iranian plot against Israeli targets

According to security sources, woman suspected of planting a bomb threat at Brussels Airport to collect intelligence on place's security protocols and behavior of Israeli airline's staff at behest of Tehran

Itamar Eichner |
Published: 07.09.21, 20:02
Belgian authorities have arrested a woman suspected of taking part in an Iranian plot to collect intelligence on Israeli targets at the Brussels AFbruirport, Ynet has learned on Friday.
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  • According to sources, a security guard working for Israeli flag carrier El Al found a suspicious-looking suitcase that was left in one of the airport's concourses on Thursday.
    Footage from the incident at the Brussels Airport Thursday
    The airport's two departure halls, as well as a nearby compound that serves as a COVID-19 vaccination center, were evacuated for about an hour. Local media reported it was not clear why authorities decided to evacuate the place since it is not unusual to find a suitcase without an owner at an airport.
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    Security personnel stand at a departure hall evacuated due to a suspected bomb threat
    Security personnel stand at a departure hall evacuated due to a suspected bomb threat
    Security personnel stand at a departure hall evacuated due to a suspected bomb threat
    (Photo: AFP)
    A spokesperson for the local police told the media that they "did not want to take any risks" and the airport stated that "the situation was back to normal; no flights have been canceled."
    The sources told Ynet that an investigation of the incident managed to link the suitcase to a woman of Iranian descent who resides in the Belgian capital and has boarded a Qatar Airways flight to Doha.
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    מזוודה בנמל תעופה בריסל בלגיה
    Illustration: a suitcase with Brussels Airport baggage tag
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    Belgian police ordered the Airbus plane to turn around, and according to one source, the woman was taken off the plane and arrested.
    Upon inspection of the suitcase, no explosives were found in it, but only several packs of hand sanitizer.
    According to sources in El Al's security team in Brussels, this was an attempt by the Iranians to test security protocols at the airport and obtain information on the behavior of El Al's security staff. They praised the security guard for acting with composure and preventing a future attack.
    3 View gallery
    נמל תעופה בריסל בלגיה
    נמל תעופה בריסל בלגיה
    Brussels Airport
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    Security officials in Israel said that "the issue is under investigation."
    On 22 March 2016, a series of coordinated suicide bombings carried out by the Islamic State (IS) had hit the airport and the Maalbeek metro station on the Brussels metro.
    Thirty-two civilians and three perpetrators were killed, and more than 300 people were injured. Another bomb was found during a search of the airport.
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