News & Politics

Belgium Shocked by New Terror Arrests: Muslim Radicals Had Planned New Year's Attacks

Grand Place in Brussels with colorful lighting, Belgium. Sira Anamwong

Belgium has arrested six terror suspects. The terrorists, all Islamic, had planned to carry out attacks during the New Year’s party in the country’s capital, Brussels.

The six were arrested during a massive operation in the Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek, its suburb Laken, and in the towns of Sint-Pieters Leeuw and Anderlecht. Yesterday, Belgian authorities arrested another man — Ayoub B. — on the suspicion of membership in a terrorist organization and involvement in terror related murders.

That arrest came a few days after Belgian police arrested two men — Saïd S. and Mohamed K. — because they too had plans to carry out terrorist attacks this evening or early in the morning on January 1. Police suspect most if not all of the men had contact with Salah Abdeslam, who was one of the terrorists responsible for the attacks in Paris last month. Those attacks resulted in 130 deaths.

Ayoud B., who was arrested yesterday, comes from a radical Islamic family. Three of his brothers and one of his sisters are believed to be in Syria. His family’s story proves once again that Belgium’s problems go much deeper than a few “lone wolves” acting on their own.

Ever since the terror attacks in Paris last year — which also involved radical Muslims from Belgium — Brussels has been on high alert. Since then, at least ten people with links to the terrorists responsible for the massacre in Paris, and with plans to carry out new terror attacks, have been arrested.