Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Belgium Police Charge 3 Suspected of Planning New Terror Attack

by Alastair Jamieson and Elizabeth Chuck /  / Updated 
Image: Police and Belgian Army soldiers guard a cordon at Antwerp Central train station
Police and Belgian Army soldiers guard a cordon at Antwerp Central train station in Antwerp, Belgium on June 18, 2016. Police and the bomb squad unit responded to a suspect package in the Antwerp station while the Belgian federal prosecutor's office said early Saturday that homes and car ports were searched in 16 municipalities, mostly in and around Brussels in an anti-terror sweep.Virginia Mayo / AP

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Three people were charged with terror-related crimes Saturday in Brussels after police raided dozens of homes overnight, prosecutors said Saturday.

Initially, 12 suspected of planning new terror attacks were arrested after 40 people were taken in for questioning and 152 car ports were searched, the Belgium Federal Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.

Image: Members of the bomb squad arrive at Antwerp Central train station
Members of the bomb squad arrive at Antwerp Central train station on June 18.Virginia Mayo / AP

By late Saturday, three Belgian nationals were charged "as perpetrator or co-perpetrator, for having attempted to commit a terrorist murder and for participation in the activities of a terrorist group," a statement said. The nine others were let go.

The results of the investigation "necessitated an immediate intervention," an earlier statement said. "In the interest of the investigation, currently no further details can be given."

Belgium is still under a "level three" terror alert — the second highest — in the wake of the March 22 attacks on the Brussels subway and airport that killed 32 people.

The terror level implies a threat of an attack "is possible and likely." The maximum level indicates an imminent threat of attack.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said Saturday the terror level would remain where it was and said the situation was "under control."

"We want to continue to live normally, we are living normally," he said in French at a news conference. "We call on everyone to show calm and serenity."

Authorities are monitoring the developments and are being "extremely vigilant," he added.

Related: Belgium Charges Third Suspect in Foiled Terror Plot

Four top ministers, including Michel, have received special protection following unspecified threats, according to The Associated Press.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the March suicide bomb attacks in Brussels and for last November's massacre across Paris that killed 130 people.

So far, investigators haven't found any link between Saturday's arrests and the investigation into the March airport and metro station attack.

The latest arrests come amid high security in Europe due to the ongoing Euro 2016 soccer tournament in France.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
  • Contributors
  • Associated Press
MORE FROM news