Worrying details emerge of terror plot to harm Belgium's football fans 5 years ago

Worrying details emerge of terror plot to harm Belgium's football fans

Authorities in Belgium prevented a terror plot that could have left multiple casualties.

On Friday and Saturday, security forces in Belgium raided 40 homes across the country and brought in 40 people for questioning. By Saturday evening, three Belgians of the 12 arrested were charged by police.

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Police confirmed to reporters that those arrested were suspected of planning a terrorist attack at a Euro 2016 Fan Zone in Belgium. Thousands of Belgians watched their country's 3-0 win over Ireland in Brussels on Saturday, as a big screen gathering went ahead.

Had a terror attack - such as a bombing - taken place in such a crowded area, it would have caused untold damage and loss of life. One of the arrested men, Youssef EA, was charged, according to The Guardian, with "participation in the activities of a terrorist group, terrorist murders and attempts to terrorist murders".

Speaking on Saturday, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel warned that further attacks were "likely and possible".

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LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 29:  England and Netherlands players observe a minute of silence for the victims of Brussels terror attacks as the Belgium flag is shown on big screen prior to the International Friendly match between England and Netherlands at Wembley Stadium on March 29, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images) England and Netherlands players observe a minute's silence for the victims of Brussels terror attacks prior to an International Friendly at Wembley Stadium on March 29 (Paul Gilham/Getty)

The Belgian Interior Ministry did not confirm if the thwarted attack was linked to the March 22 terrorist atrocities at a Brussels airport and metro station that led to 32 deaths. The country remains on a Level 3 alert and a number of Belgian politicians have seen their personal security details bulked up.

Belgian authorities have reportedly gotten intel that a group of Islamic State militants had left Syria for Europe, to carry out new attacks in Belgium and France.

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