Belgium seeks two men after anti-terror raid
Belgian authorities are hunting for two men on the run after a jihadist cell was broken up in Belgium last week, with the search focusing on Spain and France, a source close to the investigation in Spain said Tuesday.
Belgium issued arrest warrants on Sunday for the two men, born in 1993 and 1996, to police in Spain and France, the source told AFP, confirming reports in the Spanish and Belgian media.
The authorities fear the two men could be trying to get to Syria or another country by via Spain or Turkey, the source added.
One has Belgian citizenship and the other is a Dutch national, according to Spanish media reports which published photos of the suspected fugitives.
Belgian police initially believed that the younger of the two men was killed in a raid against a jihadist cell in Viviers in eastern Belgium on Thursday in which two suspects were killed, the source said.
But the authorities later realised that he had not been killed in the operation.
“He is therefore considered to be on the run” along with the other man, the source said.
Authorities suspect the two men may have travelled to Spain via France after the raid against the cell in Belgium, according to Spanish media reports.
Belgian authorities believe the cell was plotting to kill police.
Thirteen people were arrested in Belgium as part of the operation, including five who have been charged with “participating in the activities of a terrorist group”.
The foiled attacks in Belgium have also led to arrests in several European countries. Two people were arrested in France and one in Greece over their suspected links to the jihadist cell in Belgium.
Belgium has requested the extradition of the suspects arrested in France and Greece.
Amedy Coulibaly, one of the three gunmen behind this month’s Paris attacks, drove five people including his partner Hayat Boumeddiene, to Madrid in early January to catch a plane to Turkey, a Spanish anti-terrorism source said Friday.
They then crossed into Syria from Turkey, according to the source.