The body of Belgian soldier Jürgen Conings, 46, was discovered by a cyclist on Sunday, June 20, in a wood in the town of Dilsen-Stokkem, in the province of Limburg. According to a press release from the federal prosecutor’s office, this corporal, sniper, sympathizer of the ultra-right and wanted for terrorism, would have committed suicide, which should be demonstrated by an autopsy.
The NCO had been on the run since May 17, when he left his barracks with four anti-tank rocket launchers, a machine gun, a revolver, grenades and 2,000 ammunition. After his disappearance, the federal prosecution, responsible for the fight against terrorism, raised the alert level to threshold 4, the highest.
Declaring himself ” in war “, Jürgen Conings had assured in letters that he would refuse to be captured alive, but wanted to settle scores with “The regime, the politicians and the virologists who continue to hamper my freedom”. This is the Dr Marc Van Ranst, media figure and close advisor to the Minister of Health, whom he was particularly targeting. The specialist and his family, under close surveillance, had to leave their home, near which Mr Conings had been spotted before his disappearance. Mr. Van Ranst had become, over the course of the pandemic and the restrictive measures decreed, one of the preferred targets of far-right officials. Additional protective measures had also been put in place around politicians and mosques.
Registered by the army intelligence service on a list of around thirty soldiers considered extremist, Jürgen Conings had also been identified by the Central Office for Threat Analysis (OCAM) as “Potentially dangerous extreme right”, the only soldier among about fifty people registered by this service coming under the ministries of justice and the interior.
Access to a weapons depot
A huge hunt had been organized to find the non-commissioned officer. Hundreds of police, soldiers and members of the special forces had combed the vast area of the Haute Campine nature park in the province of Limburg. An operation that had turned out to be in vain. It was therefore believed that Jürgen Conings had found refuge with members of the ultra-right who had shown their support. Facebook groups bringing together up to 50,000 people and demonstrations of dozens of supporters had been organized.
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