Nine arrest warrants were issued in the wake of two separate police operations targeting suspected Islamist terrorist cells in Belgium, local media reported on Wednesday.

Prosecutors quoted by the Belga news agency said warrants were issued for all seven people who were detained on Tuesday in Antwerp — as part of a three-country sting also involving the Netherlands and Germany, where four more were held.

The suspects are alleged to have been planning a terrorist attack against an unspecified target in Belgium and to have been recruiting on behalf of a terrorist organization in Chechnya, exchanging information through the Ansar al Mujahideen internet forum.

Prosecutors also said that of around a dozen that were questioned on Tuesday in Brussels, in the context of a separate investigation over the recruitment of terrorist fighters for Iraq and Afghanistan, two were arrested.

Both sets of suspects were charged with taking part in the activities of a terrorist organization. All are due to appear before pre-trial magistrates on Friday.

Despite the developments, authorities in Belgium said the national terrorist threat alert, based on a scale from one to five, remained unchanged at two.


Ten detained in three-nation anti-terror sweepNovember 23, 2010

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