Belgian Police 'Thwart Imminent al-Qaeda Attack'
News Brief – December 11, 2008
As heads of state in arrived in Brussels for the European Union summit, Belgium police announced that they thwarted a plot to launch a possible "suicide attack.”
The claims came after an overnight police operation, involving 242 officers, in house raids in Brussels and Liege.
Belgium police arrested 14 suspects, three of whom, including a suspected “suicide bomber”, who had just returned from Afghanistan, where it’s alleged they had received training from al-Qaeda.
The lead suspect had just returned from Afghanistan on Dec 4 said Johan Delmulle, Belgium's Federal Prosecutor, who revealed that police had swooped because he had "received the green light to carry out an operation from which he was not expected to come back".
"He had said goodbye to his loved ones, because he wanted to enter paradise with a clear conscience," said Delmulle.
"This information, related to the fact that a European summit is proceeding at this time in Brussels obviously did not leave us any other choice than to intervene today."
Mr Delmulle described the raids as "the most important" anti-terrorism operation in Belgium following a one year investigation of a Belgian Islamist group involved in training as well as fighting on the Pakistan-Afghan border.
However, Delmulle admitted that authorities did not “know where the suicide attack was to take place”
Delmulle also conceded that the terror attack may have been planned for “Pakistan or Afghanistan, but it can't be ruled out that Belgium or Europe could have been the target."
Given that in Arabic Al Qeada means among other things toilet and that the late British Foreign Secretary Robin Cooke denied it was an actual “terror group”, we should be a little wary of claims involving Al Qaeda.
Last updated 13/12/2008