Arrests in suspected terrorist hit at the Belgium/Ireland Euro 2016 match

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Three months after Islamist bombers killed 32 people in Brussels, police searched dozens of houses across the country and arrested 12 people the night before Belgium’s Euro 2016 game against Ireland on Saturday.

Nine of them were released after questioning but three Belgian nationals identified as 27-year-old Samir C., 40-year-old Moustapha B., and 29-year-old Jawad B., were charged with “having attempted to commit a terrorist murder and for participation in the activities of a terrorist group”, the federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Some media reports said the suspects had planned attacks against fans watching the Euro 2016 games in Brussels, and had possibly been targeting Saturday afternoon’s Belgium vs Ireland match.

Earlier on Saturday, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel chaired a meeting of the government’s security council, which includes the ministers of defence, foreign affairs, home affairs and justice, after the raids and said soccer-related events would go on as planned with extra security measures.

“We want to continue living normally,” Mr Michel told a news conference. “The situation is under control.”

“We are extremely vigilant, we are monitoring the situation hour by hour and we will continue with determination the fight against extremism, radicalisation and terrorism,” he added.

No weapons or explosives were found during the overnight searches, which also involved 152 garage lockups.

Flemish public broadcaster VTM said the people arrested overnight were suspected of planning an attack in Brussels this weekend during one of Belgium’s soccer matches.

Areas where fans watch matches in Brussels were potential targets, as well as other crowded areas such as shopping centres and stations, Belgian media reported.

I suspect even ISIS aren’t stupid enough to attack The Beautiful Game.  But you can never count on those “lone wolves” to act along ISIS corporate policy.

– Reuters, RTE


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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