Belgium releases man who had gas canisters in van
Police and members of the bomb squad investigate an area in the center of Brussels on Thursday, March 2, 2017. Belgian authorities have closed off part of the center of Brussels and a subway station after a suspect was detained with gas canisters in the trunk of his car. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
BRUSSELS — Belgian authorities have released a man, previously convicted on terror-related charges, who was stopped while speeding through the center of Brussels with a van loaded with two gas canisters.
The prosecutor’s office said Friday the man, identified only as M.A., was convicted last year and local media said he had sought to fight in Syria. Once his identity became clear to police after he was stopped for running a red light on Thursday, part of the center of Brussels was closed off during the evening rush hour.
A bomb squad found no detonator or explosives, and only one of the two gas canisters was full.
On Friday, the office said there were no reason to issue an arrest warrant now but said the investigation would continue.