Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon on Friday blamed a police liaison officer “blunder” for Ibrahim El Bakraoui’s mishandled return from Turkey.
He was speaking during a meeting of the Justice, Interior and Foreign Affairs Committees in the Federal Parliament.
“Someone within the police was at the very least negligent and not very pro-active in a case where you immediately get the feeling that it involves terrorism.”
According to a presented timeline, the liaison officer did “nothing of substance” between June 20, when he learned of El Bakraoui’s arrest, and July 14, when El Bakraoui was put on a plane to the Netherlands.
Jambon said: “I can’t reach another conclusion – one individual and not an entire service was negligent, not very proactive or not committed,” VRT reports.
Jambon added that as Minister of the Interior he is ultimately responsible for the police and he should take political responsibility for what had happened.
On Thursday, Jambon offered his resignation, but this was withdrawn after Prime Minister Charles Michel asked him to reconsider.