Belgium arrests two over suspected New Year's Eve plot

Probe reveals "serious threats" against "several emblematic locations" in the capital, prosecutors say.

    Belgium has been on high alert since the November Paris attacks [Francois Lenoir/Reuters]
    Belgium has been on high alert since the November Paris attacks [Francois Lenoir/Reuters]

    Belgian authorities have arrested two people suspected of plotting attacks on landmark sites in Brussels on New Year's Eve.

    The arrests on Tuesday morning took place after a number of police raids in the capital, the Brabant region and Liege on Sunday and Monday.

    "The inquiry has brought to light serious threats which targeted several emblematic locations in Brussels during the end of year festivities," the federal prosecutor's office said in a statement.


    Read more: Brussels police make arrests in Paris attack probe


    One of the two was arrested on suspicion of planning attacks as well as "playing a lead role in the activities of a terrorist group and recruiting for terrorist acts," the prosecutors said.

    The second person faced charges of planning and "participating in the activities of a terrorist group".

    During the house searches, military-type training uniforms, propaganda materials from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group and computer material were seized and are being examined, authorities said.

    However, no weapons or explosives were found.

    A total of six people were taken away for questioning during the searches, but four of them have since been released.

    Belgium has been on high alert since the November Paris attacks which killed 130 people. 

    Police in the country have arrested nine people in connection with the ISIL-claimed attacks on the French capital, but the prosecutors said Tuesday's arrests were not linked to that investigation.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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