Global Independent Analytics

Belgian police arrest seven suspects; France prevents another act of terrorism

"At this stage, there is no tangible evidence that links this plot to the attacks in Paris and Brussels"

ALASTAIR MACDONALD AND JAN STRUPCZEWSKI reporting for Reuters: During last night raids Belgian police managed to arrest seven people, who are believed to be connected, if not responsible for, to suicide bombings in Brussels, where at least 31 people died and 270 received wounds in the worst such attack in Belgian history.

The federal prosecutor's office confirmed six men being arrested during searches in the Brussels neighborhoods of Schaerbeek in the north and Jette in the west, as well as in the center of the Belgian capital, with seventh being taken into custody in the Forest borough of Brussels early today. It is no doubt only a beginning of the very long investigation and more suspects will be arrested as the time goes on.

The attack in Brussels, home to the European Union and NATO, has heightened security concerns around the world and raised questions about EU states' ability to respond in an effective, coordinated way to the Islamist militant threat.

Meanwhile, French authorities stated that they were able to put an end to a militant plot, which, as Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve put it, "was at an advanced stage."

He also added that the man arrested "is suspected of high-level involvement in this plan. He was part of a terrorist network that planned to strike France."

After the arrest by the French counterterrorism service, DGSI, the agency raided an apartment building in the northern Paris suburb of Argenteuil. A police source said investigators found acetone peroxide explosives in the apartment.

"At this stage, there is no tangible evidence that links this plot to the attacks in Paris and Brussels," concluded Cazeneuve, who was in the Belgian capital Thursday for an emergency meeting of EU interior and justice ministers.

By Stefan Paraber for GIA.

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