Prosecutor: 2 arrests in Belgium terror probe
BELGIUM — Belgian police on Friday arrested two men in connection with an anti-terrorism case, the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said.
“Both are suspected of planning a terrorist attack somewhere in Belgium,” the prosecutor’s office said Saturday.
Seven house searches in Mons and one house search in Liege led to the arrests.
“For the time being there is no connection with the terrorist attacks” on March 22 at the national airport and the metro station in Brussels. ISIS claimed responsibility for the twin bombings, which killed 32 people
Last month, Belgian authorities questioned 40 people and arrested 12 of them in a raid related to a terrorism investigation, the federal prosecutor’s office said.
The operation included searches of dozens of houses, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office. The searches were spread through 16 municipalities.
Belgian state broadcaster RTBF reported Saturday that the overnight raids were made after messages were intercepted indicating attacks were being planned. The possible targets were places where Belgian football fans congregated to watch Euro 2016 games.
No arms or explosives had been found in the raids, the office added.
Heightened security protection
Ahead of the June raids, several senior ministers were given heightened security protection because of new intelligence about specific threats. according to RTBF, which cited the government’s Coordinating Unit for Threat Analysis.
Prime Minister Charles Michel, Foreign Minister Didier Reynders and Interior Minister Jan Jambon were among those receiving heightened protection, RTBF reports..
Per capita, Belgium has the highest number of foreign fighters in Syria of any Western European nation.