Suspects with al-Qaeda links arrested
December 12, 2008
Belgian officials say that the police have arrested 14 people suspected of terrorist links, allegedly close to committing an act of terror.
The arrests made on Thursday took place as officials said the suspects were allegedly going to commit an al-Qaeda-style terrorist act.
A Belgian government statement said that the target remained unknown but added, "it is more than likely that an attack in Brussels has been prevented."
Following 16 overnight raids by police in Brussels and Liege, the suspects were taken into custody. This was just hours before EU leaders were to begin a two-day summit meeting in Brussels to debate an economic stimulus plan and environmental proposals, UPI reported.
One of the suspects had already 'said goodbye to his loved ones' in a farewell video, federal prosecutor Johan Delmulle told reporters. Another suspect, Malika el-Aroud, is the widow of one of the men who assassinated a key opponent of the Taliban in Afghanistan two days before Sept. 11, 2001, CNN reported.
Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme meanwhile told reporters as he arrived at the EU summit, "The very effective reaction of law-enforcement authorities shows that these security measures are really necessary."