Security services prepare for arrival of President Trump

Summary

An anonymous spokesperson for the federal police said it was ‘difficult to prepare’ for Donald Trump’s arrival, as details have still not been communicated to security services

Protest planned

Belgian security services are trying to prepare for the arrival of US president Donald Trump, but his agenda remains uncertain, a source with the federal police told Bruzz. Trump is due to attend a Nato summit on 25 May, but the details of his visit are still unclear.

Tight security is part of every visit by an American president and of a Nato summit, with the heads of state of other Nato countries also present. Trump (pictured) comes to Brussels a day after an audience with the Pope, and he leaves immediately after the summit to attend a G7 summit in Sicily.

However, it is not yet known whether he will arrive on 24 May or the morning of 25 May, nor whether his entourage will land at Brussels Airport or at the military airfield at nearby Melsbroek. His itinerary and lodging also remains a closely guarded secret.

The details are crucial, according to an unnamed source with the federal police, speaking to Bruzz, given the level of security demanded by the US Secret Service. For example, when President Obama came to Brussels, 320 kilometres of sewers were inspected in advance and all manhole covers sealed in places where the president was likely to be.

“It makes it difficult for us to prepare,” the source said. President Trump also faces demonstrations. “The protests make the situation even more complicated. The police are at the end of their tether.”

While a spokesperson for the Elsene police zone admitted that “it’s of course easier to work if the details of the visit are known down to the last point,” he also said that “we’ve been preparing for weeks for various scenarios at different locations”.

Photo: Wikimedia