people jihadists have been killed and a another has been arrested in an anti-terrorism operation in Verviers, Belgium. The individuals are believed to have links to ISIS and to have been planning attacks in Belgium. The operation was intended to check on suspected radicals, one of several being conducted against people believed to have returned to Belgium after taking part in the Syrian civil war. As reported at the Jerusalem Post, public service radio RTBF said there were no casualties among the security forces involved. Two unidentified people were killed and a third seriously wounded. Several others were detained. This comes on the foot-heals of the terrorist attacks in Paris that left 17 dead. Looks like Europe may finally have gotten the wake up call on radical Islam.
Counter-terror police, in a series of raids, rounded up suspects they believed were intent on launching terror operations in Belgium, officials said.
At least two suspects died during the raids, and another was injured, officials told members of the media today. The officials said no police or civilians were injured after the suspects opened fire with automatic weapons.
Two people were killed Thursday in an anti-terrorism operation in the eastern Belgian city of Verviers, CNN affiliate VTM News reported.
The group is believed to have links to ISIS and to have been planning attacks in Belgium, CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said.
Federal Belgian police took at least one suspect into custody near a train station, VTM News said. Further details weren’t immediately available.
Verviers is about 69 miles (111 kilometers) east-southeast of Brussels and 200 miles (322 kilometers) northeast of Paris.
The anti-terrorism raid comes amid heightened alerts in Europe after this month’s attack on the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
Anti-terrorism operations were underway in other cities, a senior Belgian counter-terrorism official told Cruickshank.
Amateur Video – Assault rue de la colline, Verviers
The Telegraph – Casualties in Belgium police anti-terror raid in Verviers:
The suspects opened fire on police in Verviers, in the east of the country, before being killed, the prosecutor said. No policemen were injured during the operation, in which 10 buildings were searched.
The group was about to mount terrorist attacks on a “grand scale”, the prosecutor said.
“A second Paris has been avoided,” a ministry of justice source told Nieuwsblad newspaper.
Local residents in Verviers heard a fusillade of machine gun shots and explosions.
A local resident said: “I heard two explosions and saw two young men run away. They were between 25 and 30 years of Arab origin.”
Referring to the raid itself, he said: “The suspects immediately and for several minutes opened fire with military weaponry and handguns on the special units of the federal police before they were neutralised.”
Officials said police came under sustained fire from a flat above a bakery.
After the operation, four Kalashnikovs, bomb-making equipment and police clothing were found, according to local media. Security forces remain in the Verviers area.
Police are expected to provide more details at a briefing on Friday.