Seven people arrested for plotting terrorist attack
Seven people were arrested in East and West Flanders on Thursday for planning a terrorist attack. This was reported by VRT and confirmed by the federal prosecutor's office. Although the suspects did not have a clear target for their attack, they were actively searching for weapons.
"As part of a dossier from the federal prosecutor's office, the federal judicial police of East Flanders, under the direction of a special investigating judge for terrorism from West Flanders, carried out several searches," the office reported. "The special units of the federal police provided the necessary support to arrest several suspects".
"The possible charges are attempted terrorist murder, participation in the activities of a terrorist group and preparation of a terrorist attack"
Seven people were detained and taken in for questioning. "The investigating judge will later decide whether to bring them before him and possibly issue an arrest warrant," the office said. "The possible charges are attempted terrorist murder, participation in the activities of a terrorist group and preparation of a terrorist attack."
According to the federal prosecutor's office, almost all the suspects are Chechen and belong to a group that is a staunch supporter of IS. Three are Belgian.
"All those involved are suspected of having made preparations to carry out a terrorist attack in Belgium," the prosecutor's office added. "Although several scenarios were discussed, the target of the attack had not yet been precisely determined."
In the meantime, the threat level for Belgium remains at level 2 on a scale of 4, according to the Office for the Coordination of Threat Assessment (OCAD). "This means that the threat is considered average," says OCAD, confirming that it will continue to assess the situation and remain in contact with partner services.
© BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK