Police Raids Across Europe After Brussels Attacks

Time: 9:17 p.m. CEST

Police across Europe made several arrests on Sunday either in connections to this week deadly bombings in Brussels, either plotting possible attacks. The latest agency news on Sunday was that police in Netherlands arrested French national in Rotterdam suspected of planning attack. Moreover, prosecutors in Brussels said on Sunday that police carried out 13 new raids across various districts in Brussels. Belgium public broadcaster said in a statement, “the federal prosecutor’s office questioned nine people ‘in the context of a terrorism file.’” Five of those apprehended were later released. Police raided Brussels and other two cities in Belgium and “kept four of the arrested under detention.”

The federal prosecutor’s office says the raids are linked a “federal case regarding terrorism” but did not specify whether it had anything to do with the March 22 suicide bombing attacks in Brussels that killed 31 people and left 270 wounded. RTBF says, police made 13 raids in Brussels and the northern cities of Mechelen and Duffel.

In Italy, police say they have arrested an Algerian man wanted by Belgian authorities for alleged involvement in a Belgium-based network of false IDs used by suspects implicated in the Paris and Brussels attacks. RTBF explains, the man, arrested near Salerno, came to Italy’s attention by applying for a residency permit. Police Sunday noted he had the same name of man sought by Belgium for alleged involvement in “a criminal network dedicated to false documents on a large scale,” that emerged last year in Brussels.

Belgium issued a warrant in January, three months after a raid in the Brussels suburb of Saint-Gilles yield about a 1,000 digital images used for false documents.

Police are investigating why the man was in Italy and expect extradition procedures to begin. They didn’t identify the man or specify when he was arrested.

Who are main suspects arrested in Brussels and France?

The suspect Abderrahmane A., arrested Friday in Schaerbeek in the context of the investigation which led to the arrest of Reda Kriket in Argenteuil (France), was placed under arrest and charged with “the leader of participation in activities a terrorist group,” said Sunday the federal prosecution to Belga, Belgian public broadcaster RTBF writes.

The man, who was wounded in the leg, was arrested Friday at Avenue Rogier Schaerbeek, at a tram stop. His detention was extended for a period of 24 hours by the judge who finally placed him under arrest.

Several media reports since Saturday that the suspect arrested Friday in Schaerbeek was convicted in 2005 for complicity in the assassination of Massoud and it is Abderahmane Ameroud. The federal prosecutor refuses to give the full identity of the man placed under arrest and even to confirm that the name disclosed in its press Saturday is spelled correctly.

The commander Ahmed Shah Massoud, leader of the Northern Alliance and leader of anti-Taliban war, was killed by two Tunisians being passed to journalists, Dahmane Abd al-Sattar and Bouraoui El-Ouaer, September 9, 2001 two days before the deadly attacks of Al-Qaeda in the United States.

Five Islamists were sentenced to prison terms of two to seven years in prison on May 17, 2005 in Paris, especially for helping the two Tunisian militants to assassinate Massoud in Afghanistan with a loaded camera. Abderahmane Ameroud, an elderly Algerian then 27, was sentenced to seven years in prison, as well as a permanent ban to enter the French territory by the 13th chamber of the Paris court. Abderamane A. was deprived of freedom on Friday as part of the arrest Thursday of French, Reda Kriket, born 17 January 17, 1982 in Argenteuil.

Another suspect, N. Rabah, was arrested Friday in Brussels Region as part of the same investigation. He was arrested rue de Merode in Saint-Gilles. N. Rabah was also placed under arrest and charged with the leader of participation in the activities of a terrorist group. Reda Kriket was actively sought since August 17, 2015, when a European arrest warrant had been issued. Reda Kriket was also sentenced in absentia in Brussels in July 2015, with Abdelhamid Abaaoud at trial in Belgium of a Jihadist thread to Syria. According to French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, Reda Kriket was arrested Thursday for a planned attack in France “at an advanced stage.”


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