Thursday, 22 January 2015
The two men who were questioned then taken into custody at Charleroi airport on Thursday night on suspicion of travelling to Syria to fight are still behind bars after Brussels Council Chamber decided on Wednesday to keep them in custody, revealed the Federal Prosecutor’s office. The two men, Abdelkader B. (35 years old) and Mohamed-Amine B. (19 years old), were arrested in the company of a 21-year-old woman who was apparently planning to travel to Syria to join her husband. On Friday, the day after the 3 were questioned, the young woman was also placed under arrest and had her custody extended on Wednesday.
The three suspects are all from Brussels and claim they do not know each other. “My client did not know the two men personally and only had indirect contact with them via other people,” says Sokol Vljahen, the young woman’s attorney. “She intended to travel to Greece and then join her husband in Turkey. She lives here alone with a 13-month-old baby and wanted to persuade her husband to come home. Her husband is apparently an Islamic State jihadist currently in Syria, although this information has not been confirmed.”
The three apparently purchased last minute flights before making their way to the airport on Thursday night. According to federal prosecutors, contrary to what has been written in the press, they were taken into custody after being questioned at Charleroi Airport, not at Zaventem Airport. They were placed under arrest the following day and charged with participating in terrorist group activities.
This investigation is not linked to the investigation of terrorist cell that was planning attacks in Belgium during which a shock raid was carried out in Verviers last week.