Three arrested, seven released after Belgian anti-terrorism raids

Belgian authorities arrested three terrorist suspects Tuesday, after carrying out raids across Brussels amid an investigation into a recruitment network linked to the Islamic State extremist group, prosecutors said.

Seven other people detained in the early morning police raids were released. 

The three arrested individuals were identified as Belgian citizens Marianna A, born in 1984, and Mohamed O, born in 1992, as well as Azzeddine K, a French national born in 1990. They were all charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist group. 

Nine raids were carried out in total across the Belgian capital, including in the neighbourhood of Molenbeek - an area associated with several perpetrators of the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris.

But the raids were not connected to the Paris attacks, the prosecution said in an earlier statement.

The raids were conducted in light of evidence that several people had travelled to Syria to join the Islamic State extremist group, the statement added. Mobile phones and computer data were also seized.

Belgium has Europe's highest proportion, relative to population size, of foreign fighters - Europeans who have joined extremist groups in Syria or Iraq and could return home radicalized and violent.

Last update: Tue, 16/02/2016 - 20:11
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