European police arrest at least 10 in Belgian plot

Police in several European countries arrested at least 10 people on Tuesday suspected of planning an Islamist militant attack in Belgium, prosecutors said.

Last Updated: Nov 23, 2010, 20:33 PM IST

Brussels: Police in several European countries arrested at least 10 people on Tuesday suspected of planning an Islamist militant attack in Belgium, prosecutors said.

Seven suspects were arrested in Belgium, two in the Netherlands and one in Germany, a spokeswoman for the Belgian prosecutors` office said.

But the Dutch prosecutors` office said police had arrested three men there at the request of the Belgian authorities and that an arrest had also been made in Austria.

Germany warned last week it had strong evidence Islamist militants were planning attacks in the next two weeks and ordered security at its train stations, airports and other potential targets to be tightened.

But a spokesman for the German interior ministry said Tuesday`s arrests were not connected to that security alert.
The Belgian prosecutors said the exact target of the planned attack in Belgium had not yet been established.

They said the suspects, most of whom were from Antwerp, were of Belgian, Dutch, Moroccan and Russian nationality and had been active on the Islamist website Ansar al Mujahideen http://www.ansar1.info/.
Prosecutors said they were probing connections to the Chechen militant organization Caucasus Emirate.

Dutch prosecutors said the three men arrested there were Amsterdam residents aged 25, 26 and 28. It said Belgium had requested their extradition.

Bureau Report