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Belgian police: Arrested terror suspect not tied to Jewish museum killings

JTA

May 27, 2014 | 4:10 pm

Belgian police arrested a person suspected of terrorism, but at this point see no connection to the Brussels Jewish museum shootings, a police spokeswoman said.

“Following the events last Saturday, the federal police prioritized certain cases,” Wenke Roggen of the Belgian Federal Police told the Belga news agency on Tuesday. “In one of those cases, which concerned involvement in a certain activity of a terrorist group, today an individual was deprived of their freedom. A priori, at this moment there is no link to what happened Saturday.”

On Saturday, a man entered the Jewish Museum of Belgium in central Brussels and killed four people: an Israeli tourist couple, Emanuel and Miriam Riva, both in their 50s from Tel Aviv; and museum staffers Dominique Sabrier, 66, and Alexandre Strens, 25.

The shooter, who was driven to the museum and escaped on foot, and his accomplices are the subject of an ongoing manhunt.

Roggen’s statement to Belga came following a report Tuesday by the Belgian VTM broadcaster that said a suspect was arrested Tuesday in connection withthe killings. The information came from a “a trusted source,” VTM reported.

But the Le Soir daily reported online that an unnamed source with the Brussels Prosecutor’s Office said the arrest was connected to an unrelated crime that occurred on the same street as the museum, Minimes Street.

Roggen declined to divulge any information on the person who had been arrested, Belga reported.

Witnesses to the museum shooting said the gunman was armed with an automatic rifle and a pistol.

Shortly after the shooting, Belgian police detained a person they had briefly defined as a suspect. But the person was released hours later and redefined as a witness, a police source said.

Police have released surveillance camera footage of the gunman and asked anyone with knowledge of him or accomplices to contact the authorities.

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