Belgium arrests al-Qaeda suspects

Police detain 14 people as leaders gather for European Union summit in Brussels.

    Police erect a protective fence ahead of the European Council summit in Brussels [AFP]

    "This information, linked to the fact that a European summit is getting under way at this moment in Brussels, left us no choice but to take action today," the prosecutor said.

    Delmulle said the raids were linked to a similar pre-Christmas sweep last year.

    About 250 police officers carried out raids 16 raids across Brussels and one in the eastern city of Liege on Thursday, confiscating computers, data storage equipment and a gun.

    The federal prosecutor's office described the raids as "the most important" anti-terrorism operation in Belgium, and said it was linked to a Belgian Islamist group involved in training as well as fighting on the Pakistan-Afghan border, in liaison with "important figures" in al-Qaeda.

    In a statement, the country's justice and interior ministers said: "It is now clear to all that we were dealing with a real risk. It is more than likely that an attack in Brussels has been prevented". 

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.