Belgium troops on patrol in central Brussels in the wake of the terrorist attacks last year. Picture:
Belgium troops on patrol in central Brussels in the wake of the terrorist attacks last year. Picture:

Eight arrested in anti-terror raid

BELGIUM has detained eight people during raids linked to an anti-terrorism investigation, prosecutors say.

The eight people were arrested in Brussels after the counter-terror raids which were part of an investigation into an alleged attack plot, a source close to the probe said.

All eight were arrested on Sunday in Molenbeek, which is an immigrant district with significant rates of poverty and unemployment.

Police raided seven homes on Sunday in the Brussels district of Molenbeek as well as the Flemish towns of Geraardsbergen and Mechelen, the office of the federal prosecutor said, adding that no weapons or explosives had been found.

Belgium troops on patrol in central Brussels in the wake of the terrorist attacks last year. Picture David Dyson
Belgium troops on patrol in central Brussels in the wake of the terrorist attacks last year. Picture David Dyson

The eight suspects were taken for questioning before a judge investigating an alleged terror plot, the source said, confirming a report in the Belgian daily La Derniere Heure.

According to the source, investigators suspected an attack was in preparation, but gave no other details.

“A judge specialised in terrorism matters had asked for the home searches to be carried out,� the office said.

The judge will decide late on Monday whether to formally charge the suspects and whether to continue holding them or release them.

The main square in Molenbeek, Brussels. Picture: Ella Pellegrini
The main square in Molenbeek, Brussels. Picture: Ella Pellegrini

Molenbeek was home to several members of the cell that carried out the November 13, 2015 attacks on Paris and the March 2016 suicide bombings in Brussels. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for both attacks which killed a total of 162 people.

Prosecutors did not give any details, but said the case was not connected to the attacks in Paris or the Brussels.



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