Security Guard at Belgian Nuclear Plant Found Dead With Pass Stolen

Security Guard at Belgian Nuclear Plant Found Dead With Pass Stolen
Source: AP
Source: AP

A security officer at a Charleroi, Belgium nuclear facility was murdered on Thursday night, just two days after a wave of terror attacks shook Brussels. Local newspaper Dernière Heure reported that the man's security pass had also been stolen. 

Conflicting reports from the Belga news agency claim that the Charleroi prosecutor's office denied reports of a stolen pass. The murder is reportedly being handled as a criminal, and not terrorism, case.

Though authorities told Derniére Heure that the murder was not suspected to be linked to terror, Belgium's nuclear facilities have been under close watch since reports surfaced that the terrorists behind the Tuesday suicide bombings were targeting the locations for further attacks.

Immediately following Tuesday's events, all nonessential personnel were evacuated from the Tihange Nuclear Power Station in Huy, Belgium, but authorities were again quick to dismiss that a threat was imminent.

On Friday, the New York Times reported that, amid fresh worries of an Islamic State plan to "attack, infiltrate or sabotage nuclear installations or obtain nuclear or radioactive material," authorities had stripped several facility workers of their badges as a precaution.

During a raid prompted by the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, authorities uncovered roughly ten hours of footage of a top Belgian nuclear scientist, which had been secretly recorded from a camera mounted in a bush near his home.

Authorities linked the footage to Khalid and Ibrahim El Bakraoui, the suicide bombers believed to be responsible for both the attacks in Paris and on an airport and metro station in Brussels. Law enforcement suspected the brothers considered bombing a nuclear facility, which could potentially contaminate densely populated areas with radioactive material.

Belgium has been on high terror alert in the wake of a string of police raids since late Thursday night. Three men have been arrested and charged in connection to Tuesday's attacks, which claimed 34 lives and wounded at least 230.