April 14. 2024. 7:50

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Belgium charges 7 people with terrorism offences


Belgian authorities have charged seven people over “possible terrorist attacks”, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday (29 March).

The announcement came the day after prosecutors said they had detained eight people following raids on suspicion of planning an Islamist attack in Belgium.

In their latest statement, the prosecutors said four people had been charged with taking part in the activities of a terrorist group, preparing a terrorist offence, attempted assassination and intending to spread a message to incite the commission of a terrorist offence.

The four – three Belgians and one Turk – were all linked to a case in the city of Antwerp, the prosecutors said. They would appear before a court there on 3 April, the statement said.

A further three people – two Belgians and one Bulgarian – were charged in a case in Brussels.

Two of them have been charged with taking part in the activities of a terrorist group.

The third person has been charged with taking part in the activities of a terrorist group, preparing a terrorist offence and spreading a message with the intention of inciting the commission of a terrorist offence, prosecutors said.

All three people charged in the Brussels case will appear before a court in the Belgian capital on April 3.

In their previous statement, prosecutors said police carried out raids late on Monday at five addresses in Brussels, Antwerp and in Eupen, a city near the German border, and detained five men, at least two of them suspected of planning an attack.

In a separate but linked investigation, police raided three other addresses in and near Brussels and detained three people, also on suspicion of planning an attack.

Belgium was the home to a number of the perpetrators of the 2015 Paris attacks that killed 130 people and Brussels was itself the target of twin bomb attacks at its airport and on its metro in March 2016, when 32 people were killed.