14 suspects held in federal anti-terror raids
30 November 2005, BRUSSELS — Belgian federal police arrested 14 people on Tuesday night in 14 house raids linked to the suicide bomb attack carried out by a Belgian woman in Iraq earlier this month.
30 November 2005
BRUSSELS — Belgian federal police arrested 14 people on Tuesday night in 14 house raids linked to the suicide bomb attack carried out by a Belgian woman in Iraq earlier this month.
Police raided 14 homes in Brussels, Antwerp, Charleroi and Tongeren. Nine of the 14 suspects arrested will be ordered to appear at a later date in court.
The majority of the suspects are Belgian, two of them are of Moroccan origin and one comes from Tunisia.
They have been charged with membership of a terrorist organisation on Belgian soil, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Wednesday.
Police seized documents during the house raids, but no explosives were found.
The raids are linked to a Belgian woman who carried out a suicide bomb attack on 9 November in Iraq. She is reportedly the first European woman to have conducted such an attack in Iraq.
Police have held the woman's family under surveillance for some time and decided to raid the targeted premises on Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for the public prosecution office, Lieve Pellens, has confirmed that a Belgian national carried out a suicide bombing in Iraq.
French television broadcaster RTL broke the story on Tuesday.
The woman has been described as a Belgian national living in Brussels. She converted to Islam after marrying a radical Islamic man. She then travelled to Iraq with her husband.
Belgian media has reported that six people were killed in the suicide bomb attack. The woman's husband might also be dead.
Meanwhile, a 27-year-old man has been arrested near Paris in an operation linked to the Belgian raids. The man's identity has not been revealed.
He is suspected of holding links with a terrorist cell that sends Islamic fighters from Belgium to Iraq.
The heart of the network is reportedly in Belgium, but the suspect allegedly sought volunteers in France also.
According to one source, the man is allegedly an acquaintance of the female suicide bomber. He can be remanded in custody for another four days.
Police also arrested two men who allegedly gave the suspect accommodation.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news