Anti-terrorist activity in Europe: a Belgo-Moroccan imam among the suspects
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    Anti-terrorist activity in Europe: a Belgo-Moroccan imam among the suspects

    The head of the group suspected of having links with the Islamic state, whose members were arrested on Wednesday during an anti-terrorist operation across Europe, is the Belgo-Moroccan imam, Tarik Chadlioui, reported Gazet van Antwerpen, which is based on British media. The imam, who was about forty years old, was arrested in Birmingham in the UK, where he had been living with his wife and children for two years. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office said that no investigations had been initiated against Mr Chadlioui in Belgium.

    The Times of London writes that Mr Chadlioui, who is a native of Morocco but holds a Belgian passport, was arrested on Wednesday. A European arrest warrant had been issued against him. The imam was among six people suspected of having links with the Islamic state terrorist organisation arrested during an operation across Europe on Wednesday.

    He is suspected of being the head of the terrorist cell in Palma de Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain), which recruited young people to fight alongside the Islamic state group. He also allegedly promoted the jihadist movement on YouTube. A statement issued on Wednesday pointed to the chief arrested in the United Kingdom as a “Salafist imam”, without giving his name.

    The imam reportedly appeared before the London court on terrorism-related matters and requests for extradition on Thursday. The judge has decided to extend his arrest warrant, writes The Times.

    Tarik Chadlioui had already attracted attention to himself in the press because he had allegedly preached in a Parisian mosque frequented by Omar Mostefai, who was involved in the Paris attacks of 13 November 2015.

    The Belgian Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office indicates that “no case has been initiated in Belgium” for the moment.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times