The other night, I said:
My own view, which shifts on the regular these days, is that if the current middling-temperature conflict ever DOES go full-on hot, the form it will most likely take will be sabotage, monkey-wrenchery, and shoot-and-scoot sniper activity, perhaps even scattered small-unit raids undertaken by people with the training and experience to pull it off.
And then this happened.
Hundreds of troops from Belgium, and beyond, have now thoroughly searched a vast area in the country where a fugitive soldier armed with highly dangerous weapons is believed to be hiding. However, no trace of him has been found.
A well-trained sniper from the Belgian army, Jurgen Conings, who has combat experience in several war zones including Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon, disappeared on Monday. Having reportedly left life-threatening notes to several top officials, the 46-year-old man is believed to have taken several anti-tank missiles, a submachine gun and a handgun with an ability to pierce bulletproof vests from his unit’s ammunition depot. He himself is believed to be wearing the vest.
Conings is now a “terrorist suspect,” according to Belgian media. The federal prosecutor’s office has been investigating him for “attempted murder and illegal possession of weapons in a terrorist context,” the VRT broadcaster reported. Authorities also believe the suspect has not been “acting on impulse,” but is rather well-prepared.
Throughout the week, some 400 Belgian troops, from both the army and the police, have been rigorously searching the Hoge Kempen National Park in the Belgian province of Limburg. Helicopters, armored cars and trucks were deployed for the manhunt, while hundreds searched the nature reserve meter by meter equipped with thermal cameras. Forces from Germany and the Netherlands have been mobilized, as the area where Conings is believed to be hiding borders these countries. Dutch special units are also on standby on their side of the border in case the man tries to cross.
A number of mosques in the Limburg province have closed, local media reported, due to the heavily armed man’s known far-right extremist views.
Note the bold. You will be seeing this material again.
Earlier, a car belonging to the suspect was found. The military man, who had also been training other soldiers for foreign missions, has reportedly booby-trapped his vehicle with four rocket launchers inside. A grenade with a set of wires linking it to the car’s doors are said to have been discovered. There have also been reports that Conings left his service medals on his parents’ grave, with sources suggesting he did it on Tuesday.
Looks like “rather well-prepared” might have understated the case a mite.
Conings’ girlfriend, Gwendy, is reported to be the one who alerted the authorities to her partner’s disappearance on Monday. She reportedly discovered several letters left behind, with local media quoting Conings as writing he “could no longer live in a society where politicians and virologists have taken everything away from us,” so he “would join the resistance and would not surrender.”
If being enraged enough by the installation of de facto tyranny to take concrete steps against the “politicians and virologists” who did it—and they most certainly did do it—is now a “right-wing extremist” view, well hey, I’m a-okay with being considered a right-wing extremist mydamnedself.
Via NCR commenter Dov Sar.