Six people arrested in Brussels after attacks

March 25, 2016 10:24 am
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The arrests come as Belgian ministers are under fire for intelligence failings over Tuesday's Islamic State-claimed suicide blasts admitted "errors" and offered to quit/AFP
The arrests come as Belgian ministers are under fire for intelligence failings over Tuesday’s Islamic State-claimed suicide blasts admitted “errors” and offered to quit/AFP

, BRUSSELS, Belgium, Mar 25 – Six people were arrested Thursday in a series of police raids in Brussels, federal prosecutors said, two days after jihadist attacks in the Belgian capital left 31 dead.

Three of the suspects were detained “outside the door of the federal prosecutor’s office” a spokesman said. Two others were arrested in the Belgian capital and the sixth was detained in Jette, on the outskirts.

Brussels, home to the headquarters of the European Union and NATO, is still reeling from bombings at the airport and a metro station on Tuesday morning claimed by Islamic State.

US Secretary of State John Kerry was due to arrive in Brussels on Friday in a show of solidarity, during which he will pay tribute to the victims at the airport and hold meetings with EU officials.

The attacks have also shown how exposed Europe has become to the threat from jihadists, four months after 130 people were killed in a wave of bombings in the French capital.

Highlighting the threat, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said police Thursday had arrested a suspect in the Paris area who was in “the advanced stages” of a plot to attack France.

While the French national was not linked to the Paris or Brussels attacks, he said the man “belongs to a terrorist network that sought to strike our country”.

Police arrested Salah Abdeslam in Brussels last Friday, days before the Brussels attacks, after four months on the run as the last surviving member of the group that killed 130 people in Paris.

Abdeslam’s lawyer Sven Mary said Thursday his client “didn’t know” in advance about the Brussels attacks, and said he would no longer fight extradition to France.

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