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Belgian police detain group suspected of planning terrorist attack

Belgian police have detained seven people on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack, the prosecutor’s office reported on Thursday.

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The suspects had discussed several scenarios for an attack in Belgium but had not yet decided on the target, the statement informed as well.

There was talk of the NATO buildings, but at the moment those plans didn’t seem very concrete,” a spokesperson told the Belgian newspaper “De Standaard”.

However, the prosecutor’s office says that the suspects were actively looking for weapons.

Almost all of the suspects are of Chechen origin while three are also Belgian nationals and belong to a group of fervent Islamic State supporters, according to the prosecutor’s statement.

The arrests made in East and West Flanders were linked to an investigation by the federal prosecutor’s office. Nine searches were conducted as part of the investigation.

An investigating judge will decide at a later stage if the suspects will be brought before the court. Possible charges against the suspects are attempted terrorist murder, participation in the activities of a terrorist group, and preparation of a terrorist attack, according to “the Brussels Times”.

Belgium’s Coordination Body for Threat Analysis (OCAM) has maintained the overall threat risk at level 2 on a scale of 4.

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