Belgian police on Friday, January 16, 2015 arrested about 13 people in raids carried out on an unnamed Islamist group which they suspect to be planning terror attacks on police, with two other suspects being held in France, although their location was not made public.
The information was made known at a news conference, with a police spokesman stating that the two gunmen killed on Thursday, January 15, 2015 were not linked to Islamist attacks in Paris last week, although some of those apprehended had recently returned from Syria.
The spokesman, Eric Van Der Sypt further revealed that guns, including four AK-47 assault rifles, explosives and police uniforms were recovered from the raided apartment in Verviers, adding that “This group was on the point of carrying out terrorist attacks aiming to kill police officers in the streets and in police stations.”
Belgium is currently facing serious terror threats as Prime Minister, Charles Michel raised the national alert level to 3 on a 4-point scale with Belgium reportedly having the highest number of nationals fighting for ISIS in Syria than any other European country with about 100 Belgians back in the country with combat experience, 40 killed in battle while about 170 are still in Syria and Iraq.
The Prime Minister said: “We are not aware of any specific or concrete threats, however, in the situation we can consider it is useful to raise the level of prudence and vigilance”
Belgium has a Muslim population of about half a million, out of its 11 million people.