Tags: Belgium | Arrests | Attack | Soccer

Belgium Arrests 12 Amid Reports of Plot to Attack Soccer Fans

Belgium Arrests 12 Amid Reports of Plot to Attack Soccer Fans
 (AP)

Saturday, 18 June 2016 08:18 AM

Belgian authorities arrested 12 people after conducting anti-terror raids in Brussels and across the country amid press reports of a plot to attack fans gathering to watch a Belgium soccer game.

Security forces raided a string of properties and 152 lock-up garages on Friday night and in the early hours of Saturday, Belgium’s federal prosecutor in Brussels said in an e-mailed statement. Prime Minister Charles Michel called a meeting of the National Security Council for noon in Brussels, his spokesman said.

On the 12 people arrested, “the investigating judge will decide on their possible detention later today,” the prosecutor said. He didn’t confirm a report by broadcaster VTM that the terrorists were planning to attack fans -- possibly on Saturday -- while Belgium’s soccer team play in the Euro 2016 tournament.

Counter-terrorism forces across Europe have increased security during the European soccer championships, particularly in France where the tournament is taking place until July 10. Belgium play Ireland in the southern French city of Bordeaux at 3 p.m.

In total, police questioned 40 people during Friday’s overnight raids. No arms or explosives were found, the prosecutor said.

Belgium has been on a high state of alert since terrorists allied to the Islamic State group killed 32 people in suicide bombings at Brussels airport and on the city’s subway. The federal government has deployed soldiers on streets around prominent buildings and introduced increased security checks for travelers and commuters.

Since Friday evening, several members of Belgium’s federal government, including Prime Minister Michel, have been subject to heightened security protection, broadcaster RTBF said, without saying where it got the information. The overnight anti-terror raids were not linked to the threat to politicians, RTBF said.

Separately, a Belgian citizen, identified only as Youssef E.A., born on Aug. 4, 1985, was arrested and detained in connection with the March attacks, the federal prosecutor said in a statement sent by e-mail late Friday.

 

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Belgian authorities arrested 12 people after conducting anti-terror raids in Brussels and across the country amid press reports of a plot to attack fans gathering to watch a Belgium soccer game.
Belgium, Arrests, Attack, Soccer
318
2016-18-18
Saturday, 18 June 2016 08:18 AM
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