Belgian police arrest two terror suspects, country steps up security

ARRESTBRUSSELS, Belgium – Two brothers have been arrested by authorities in Belgium for allegedly planning to carry out terror attacks in the country.

The suspects, identified as 33-year-old Noureddine H and his brother Hamza H were taken into custody on Friday.

The prosecutor’s office said in an official statement, “Both are suspected of planning a terrorist attack somewhere in Belgium.”

On the orders of a special magistrate investigating terrorism-related cases, the police had carried out seven house searches in the areas of Mons and Liege to round up the suspects, later identified as brothers.

No weapons were recovered from the suspects, who are set to appear before a judge on Saturday who will decide whether they should be jailed.

However, so far, authorities have not been able to establish any links of the suspects with the disastrous bombings at Brussel Airport on 22 March or the metro bombings that were claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS) militant group.

Since its national holiday on July 21, Brussels has been on high alert, bracing itself for a possible attack similar to the one in France during the Bastille Day celebrations in Nice where a lorry was used to inflict terror. The country is currently on the third level of security out of a total of four levels of security alerts indicating it is bracing for a “possible and probable threat.”

Authorities are said to have questioned 40 people and arrested 12 people in June as part of the ongoing terror investigations.

The State broadcaster Radio Television Belge de la Communaute Francaise (RTBF) informed that raids were conducted for the two brothers after police intercepted messages indicating plans for attacks. On top of the list of attacks were football stadiums where thousands of fans congregated to watch Euro 2016.

Several key Belgian ministers were also given high protection ahead of the raids. Following intelligence inputs, agencies had beefed up security for Prime Minister Charles Michel, Foreign Minister Didier Reynders and Interior Minister Jan Jambon, RTBF said. READ MORE OF THIS STORY

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About Cholo Brooks 15568 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.