Belgium in Brief: The terrorist threat is not gone

Belgium in Brief: The terrorist threat is not gone
Credit: Belga

Last night, eight people who "seemed determined to carry out a terrorist attack" were arrested in Belgium as part of an anti-terrorist operation.

The Federal Judicial Police conducted searches in Antwerp (in the districts of Merksem, Borgerhout, and Deurne) and in Brussels (in Schaerbeek, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean and nearby Zaventem).

No weapons or explosives were found, but eight men were taken in for questioning. Some of them are known to the police for being radical Islamic extremists, and two of them were already under the police's radar as a potential risk.

Initially, the arrests were conducted separately until investigators found a link between the violent men, as well as the other six radicals.

Furthermore, sources close to the investigation told the RTBF that they all seemed prepared to "carry out a terrorist attack." A judge is now set to decide whether they will be officially placed under arrest.

The arrests and the police operation come less than a week after the seven-year anniversary of the Brussels terror attacks that shook Belgium to its core in 2016.

In the run-up to the anniversary, the Federal Judicial Police chief Eric Snoeck already stated that the terror threat in Belgium "had not disappeared," with the arrests being the third incident related to terrorism this year alone.

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