STORY: "Fire at crime laboratory may be attempt to 'destroy terror evidence,' published by Police Professional on September 1, 2016.
GIST: "Belgium’s National Institute of Forensics and Criminology was set on fire causing severe damage and potentially destroying DNA and other evidence considered crucial to cases involving terrorism. The blaze destroyed part of the laboratory in the Neder-Over-Heembeek district of Brussels...Hair samples from Salah Abdeslam — the sole surviving participant in the Paris attacks last November, who was captured in Brussels on March 18 after an intense manhunt — were analysed at the research centre.........The institute is part of the federal justice department and is Belgium’s centre for forensic research, including the examination of biological and ballistic evidence. It handles thousands of cases a year for the federal police and the Belgian intelligence service, and it houses the country’s DNA database. On March 22, three suicide bombers attacked the Brussels airport and a subway station in the city, killing 32 people in the worst act of terrorism in Belgium’s history. The bombers were part of a cell of Islamic State (Daesh) fighters who were involved with the terrorist attacks in and around Paris last November that killed 130 people. Monday's (August 29) attack on the crime lab could hinder police and intelligence officials as they pursue suspects and monitor threats.........A senior Belgian counter terrorism official, who wished to remain anonymous because the investigation is continuing, said he was surprised that the site was not better guarded, given how much is stored there. The security breach could be an embarrassment for Prime Minister Charles Michel, who returned from a summer vacation last week and declared that security would be the Government’s main focus over the next few years."