Man Charged in 'Belgium Attack Plot', Brother Arrested

تم نشره في Sat 30 July / Jul 2016. 12:00 AM
  • Belgian police officers patrol along a street during a continued high level of security following the recent deadly Paris attacks, in Brussels, Belgium, November 22, 2015. (Reuters)

BRUSSELS — Belgian authorities on Saturday charged a man over an alleged plot to launch a new attack in Belgium and released his brother after a series of house searches on Friday evening, federal prosecutors said, as Europe remained on edge following a wave of jihadist bloodshed in France and Germany.

Nourredine H., 33 years old, was detained with his brother Hamza H., on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack somewhere in Belgium, and is now charged by an investigating judge, with attempting to commit "terrorist murder" and "taking part in the activities of a terrorist organisation," the federal prosecutor's office said.

He was arrested along with his brother Hamza H. following raids on Friday in Belgium's French-speaking areas of Mons and Liege, but Hamza was released Saturday without charge, the office said in a statement.

For the time being, there was no connection with the attacks at Brussels airport and the metro on March 22, in which 32 people were killed, the prosecution office said on Saturday.

The federal prosecution office had earlier said it appeared from its initial investigation that there were plans to carry out an attack somewhere in the country.

Public broadcaster RTBF said that Nourredine had previously helped others travel to fight in Syria and had recently travelled widely across Europe, making a number of contacts in France. It added he was looking for weapons, which had prompted Belgian investigators to act.

Brussels, home to European Union institutions and the headquarters of NATO; Belgium in general, has been on a “serious” status alert for "possible and probable" threat since the latest attacks on Belgian soil.