Belgium Arrested 21 Suspected Terrorists in Police Raids

The Belgian police arrested 21 people suspected to be terrorists after conducting a series of anti-terror raids in Brussels, Charleroi, and Liege.

According to Belgian federal prosecutor Eric Van Der Sypt, the police arrested 19 suspects in Brussels and Charleroi after conducting 22 raids. Five more suspects were arrested during five raids in Brussels and two in Liege.

The police searched 19 houses in the capital city of Belgium, and fired two shots at a vehicle during an operation in Molenbeek. One of the arrested suspects was injured when he tried to crash his car to the police to be able to get away.

He added that the police did not find firearms or explosive seized €26,000 during the raids.

Belgium intensifies manhunt for Abdelsalam

During a press conference, Der Sypt said Salah Abdelsalam; the fugitive suspected to be one of the terrorists behind the Paris attacks was not among the arrested individuals in the police raids. Belgium intensified its manhunt for Abdeslam.

Abdelsalam is probably feeling “trapped and desperate” in Brussels, according to a police source. Reports suggested that he traveled from Paris to Belgium after the Paris attacks, the killed 130 people.

Abdelsalam’s brother, Mohamed recently told RTBF that his family wants Salah to surrender to authorities. He said, “That way he can give us the answers we seek, our family and the families of the victims. We would rather see Salah in prison than in the cemetery.”

Brussels remains on maximum alert

Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel said Brussels remains on maximum alert due to threats of possible Paris-style attacks. According to the Prime Minster, the metro system, schools, and universities are still closed in the capital city.

Prime Minister Michel said authorities are afraid Brussels could suffer attacks similar to what happened in Paris. He said several people could possibly launch attacks at the same time in multiple locations.

“There is a sustained, serious, and imminent threat against the capital,” according to the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, Belgium’s Interior Minister Jan Jambon recently stated that the threat to the country is not only tied to Abdelsalam. “The threat us broader than the one suspected terrorist,” he said.