News & Politics

Brussels on Lockdown Because of Serious Evidence of Impending Terror Attack

Soldiers from the Belgian army patrol in the picturesque Grand Place in Brussels on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015. Salah Abdeslam, a French national who lived in Molenbeek, Belgium, is currently the subject of an international manhunt after the Paris attacks. Security has been stepped up in parts of Belgium as a precaution. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Citizens of Belgium’s capital Brussels haven been told to avoid crowded places like cafés, restaurants and theaters because of “precise information” about a planned terrorist attack. The city’s metro has been shut down for the day.

The steps were taken immediately after the Belgian government raised its terror alert to the highest possible level, implying that a terror attack is “imminent.” The Belgian prime minister explained that the alert is a result of “quite precise information about the risk of an attack like the one that happened in Paris.”

A few days ago, the country raised its threat level to level three out of four, which means an attack is “possible or probable.” The highest level, which has been activated today, means that the authorities are aware of specific plans to stage terror attacks.

The crisis center of the government explains in a statement:

Following our latest evaluation… the centre has raised its terror alert to level 4, signifying a very serious threat, for the Brussels region. The analysis shows a serious and imminent threat requiring specific security measures as well as detailed recommendations to the population.

Belgium has been on high alert since the attacks in Paris because at least two of the suicide bombers involved in those attacks lived in Brussels. One other Paris terrorist from Brussels is believed to be on the run. Belgian media speculate he might be behind the current threat, although the government refuses to confirm or deny it.

According to people in the city, soldiers are currently on guard and patrolling certain neighborhoods. It’s a shocking sight for a country that hasn’t seen much violence since World War II ended and proves that we are currently engaged in World War III: a war that’s fought in every country, and in which it’s sometimes difficult if not impossible to distinguish friends from enemies.