BRUSSELS: Belgian police have charged three men with planning “attempted murder in a terrorist context” after a wave of raids overnight on Friday and Saturday morning thought to be linked to concerns about Euro 2016 security.
Three men, named only Amir C., Mustafa Jawad B. and B. were also charged with “participation in a terrorist group” and detained in custody. Nine other people were also arrested but released after being questioned.
The arrests and raids prompted a meeting of the National Security Council to review safety measures out of concern for public viewings at fan zones of the match between Belgium and the Irish Republic.
The raids and arrests took place in Brussels and elsewhere in north-western Belgium. Properties were searched albeit with the discovery of any weapons or explosives.
A prosecutor’s spokesman said: “The three men are suspected of being members of a cell that had the will and the means to commit a terrorist attack. The evdence which came to hand led to a need to intervene immediately.”
This latest police operation occurred only days after the warning of new threats inm both Belgium and perhaps France which is on high alert while it hosts the European Championship football tournament.