Since May 18th, the Belgian, German, Dutch police officers and soldiers are searching for a “Belgian Rambo”. They are looking for a deserter, an experienced sniper instructor who escaped from the unit, promising to fight the police and the COVID restrictions.
46-year-old Belgian soldier Jurgen Conings, is allegedly hiding in the woods on the border with the Netherlands. He is armed with four anti-tank grenade launchers, as well as a machine gun and pistols. His abandoned vehicle with four rocket launchers inside was found close to the Dutch border .
More than 400 police officers and soldiers backed by helicopters are currently involved in scouring a nature reserve in Limburg province.
Before fleeing, Koning threatened the country’s top politicians , the chief virologist, Marc Van Ranst, and left a letter promising to wage a deadly battle with the police. On social media, he spoke out against the restrictions due to COVID-19 and urged supporters to join the resistance.
Jurgen Conings reportedly holds extreme right-wing views and is known to harbour a hatred of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
He was one of around 30 Belgian military personnel with known extremist sympathies, officials said, but he remained on active duty, training Belgian troops ahead of deployment on overseas missions. According to the reports, Conings served in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
As a result, the Belgian government claimed to tighten vetting procedures on its soldiers. Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder promised to change the law to make it harder for military personnel to access weapons arsenals without higher levels of security clearance.
However, it seems that these are not the most needed measures for Belgian law enforcement agencies. The incapacity of thousands of soldiers to find an armed man for several days proves the inefficiency of local security forces.
Numerous terrorist attacks have recently unveiled the high level of insecurity in different European countries. For example, an attack on a French police officer in Rambouillet on April 23 has once again proved that the security forces cannot protect not only citizens, but even themselves.
The reaction of governments in European countries is not in favor of the local security forces. French President Emanuel Macron neglects numerous letters signed by thousands of soldiers and policemen, threatening of insecurity and coming civil war. While Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo has promised to deliver an action plan on how to deal with suspected extremists in the police, armed forces and customs service.
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