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


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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  • JEL51

    “No weapons or explosives were found during overnight searches…”.
    So more to come of this story then..?

  • XCIA

    “I suspect even ISIS aren’t stupid enough to attack The Beautiful Game.” They already have – ‘Football is un-Islamic’: ISIS militants gun down Real Madrid fans in Iraq………..

    • Crowgirl

      No wonder the sweet oblivion of death with its potential of virgins etc sounds so appealing when this is what you have to put up with from your own people when you try and enjoy your life.

      • NahYeah

        They don’t tell them until it’s too late that the virgins are goats. On the other hand, I’m not sure if that’s a plus or a minus for those involved.

  • Andy Garner

    Samir, Moustapha & Jawad…. not typical Belgian names then…..? Wonder what the MSM will list their motives as? They don’t like football? Or maybe they do, and are just in the closet, and unable to cope with the shame and stigma of secretly being football supporters……???

    • Uncle Bully

      Actually, these days, those are very typical Belgian names…..

  • Eiselmann

    ISIS attacked the beautiful game in the Paris attacks….no surprise that they were planning something ….big concerns for not just this tourney , also for the World Cup in Russia in 2018

    Edit Then we have Qatar 2022 …shudder.