Netherlands

Found backpack is ‘as good as certain’ by Jürgen Conings, and that’s not necessarily good news

After more than three weeks, the first real trail to Jürgen Conings seems to have been found. A black backpack, filled with hunting ammunition, medicines and provisions. The federal prosecutor’s office is “80 to 90 percent sure” that it’s Conings’s. And that’s not good news.

Third time’s the charm? The Dilserbos in the Hoge Kempen National Park has already been thoroughly searched for traces of the fugitive soldier Jürgen Conings. On Wednesday morning, dozens of soldiers and police officers turned up for a search. This time it paid off: a black backpack filled with hunting ammunition, medicines and provisions. The first concrete track, and that close to the spot where the military’s Audi Q5 was found almost a month ago. The bag was about a mile from that car, near a tree, hidden in the grass.

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DNA research

“The backpack seems to have been there for several days or weeks,” says the federal prosecutor. That seems to assume the bag was left within the 23 days that Conings was already on the run on Wednesday. Searches have already been made several times at the place where the backpack was found, without results. It is not clear whether he was already there then or was left behind later. But according to the prosecutor’s office, the bag may have been “overlooked” in those searches.

In any case, the public prosecutor seems to be certain of his piece, the first concrete trace since the discovery of his car: “It is 80 to 90 percent sure that the bag belongs to Jürgen Conings”, it sounds. The court is now having the backpack and its contents examined in the lab for DNA traces, in order to be sure of those last percentages.

Medicines in his car

But the content already speaks volumes. It contained a lot of concrete items that can be linked to the fugitive soldier. For example, it contained medicines that were also found in Conings’ abandoned car. Sources confirm this to ‘VTM Nieuws’. There would also be several army gear in the bag. Along with a considerable amount of hunting ammunition: shotgun shells.

Near the spot in the Dilserbos where the bag was found on Wednesday, a search was again conducted yesterday with man and power. Image BELGA
Near the spot in the Dilserbos where the bag was found on Wednesday, a search was again conducted yesterday with man and power.Image BELGA

And that may indicate that the soldier is more heavily armed than first thought by the investigators. Less than a month ago, Conings took four rocket launchers, a P90 machine gun, an FN 5.7 pistol and ammunition from the barracks in Leopoldsburg. He left the four rocket launchers and some of the ammunition behind in his Audi. There were crow’s feet around the car at the time, and Conings had installed a booby trap inside the car.

The investigators therefore assumed that the soldier was on the run with two heavy weapons. Until the find on Wednesday. Since the backpack contained hunting ammunition – which does not belong to the other two weapons – there is a good chance that Conings also has a hunting weapon with him.

Searched until nightfall

The search continued until dusk yesterday in the Dilserbos. The search will probably continue there today. In the meantime, the Limburger – after more than three weeks – remains untraceable. Since May 17, the search for the radicalized soldier, who has an extreme right-wing ideology, has been vigorously searched for. It was clear from the suicide note he left behind that he is targeting virologists and “the regime”. Since then, Marc Van Ranst has been living in hiding with his family in a safehouse.

Found backpack is ‘as good as certain’ by Jürgen Conings, and that’s not necessarily good news
Source link Found backpack is ‘as good as certain’ by Jürgen Conings, and that’s not necessarily good news

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