The Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws reports that last year, the theft of no less than 159 Belgian army and police uniforms was registered. Minister of the Interior Jan Jambon (N-VA) was forced to divulge this in response to a written question by MP Barbara Pas (Vlaams Belang).

Most uniforms were stolen in Flanders (94) last year, followed by Wallonia (43) and the Brussels-Capital Region (22). In 2014 and 2015, a total of 204 and 170 uniforms were stolen.

On top of that, lots of uniforms are getting lost – as opposed to being reported as stolen. In 2016 this happened to 40 pieces, up from 35 pieces in 2015. Also, 12 bulletproof vests, 129 pieces of equipment and 3 intervention armbands got lost last year.

HLN writes that “the disappearance of these uniforms is not always innocent” and that might be putting it mildly.

During a house search as part of a terror investigation in Anderlecht (Brussels), last July, two police uniforms were found. Two of in total four people arrested were held and suspected of participating in the activities of a terrorist group.

Dutch MP Geert Wilders and his Belgian counterpart MP Filip Dewinter will be visiting jihadi capital Molenbeek (Brussels) on 3 November. So far, security services have not elaborated on the possibility of an increased security risk for this event in relation to the missing uniforms.