On January 17, Belgium announced it would be deploying soldiers to guard “vulnerable sites in its two largest cities” following the terror attacks in Paris, the terror threat faced by Belgium itself, and the heightened terror alert across Europe.
Defense ministry spokesman Tony Langone said this marks the first time “since the mid-1980s… that the government is using its military to help guard civilian sites in its cities.”
According to Fox News, the troops will be deployed to guard “strategic and vulnerable places.” These include foreign embassies “and institutions of the Jewish community.” Deployment for these purposes will center on Antwerp and Brussels.
However, Prime Minister Charles Michel said some troops could be deployed to other places–“including the eastern city of Verviers, where police killed two men and arrested several others in an antiterrorism raid on [January 14].” Those killed and arrested were reportedly “on the verge” of carrying out attacks against the police.
BBC reports that police seized “guns, munitions and explosives, as well as police uniforms and a large amount of money” during the January 14 raid. Prosecutors charged five people with “participating in the activities of a terrorist group” on January 15.
Over “20 [individuals] have been arrested in Belgium, France, and Germany” since the Paris attacks.
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