Belgian authorities report they have foiled an imminent attack by a cell operating above a bakery in the town of Verviers. Two have reportedly been killed and a third injured by police marksmen as officers attempted to gain entry to the property.
Reports indicate the group had an arsenal of AK-47 assault rifles as well as police uniforms, suggesting they were planning to affect disguises to cause havoc and mistrust in Belgium. Belgian prosecutors announced in a press conference this morning that the group planned to kill police officers in the streets, raid police stations, and commit kidnap.
The intelligence-led raid, said Belgian authorities, was initiated after intelligence collection on the group suggested an attack was “imminent”. The three men, the surviving one of which is now under police custody, had all recently returned from Syria where they are believed to have fought with extreme Islamist groups. 300 Belgians have gone to fight with the Islamic state.
Police surrounded a former bakery where they were holed up with police marksmen and snipers on surrounding rooftops.
In total, 13 people have been arrested in Belgium overnight, with further terror arrests made in France and Germany. German authorities have announced they too have foiled an imminent attack.
Attacks against police and police stations have become a familiar theme in recent low-intensity terror attacks against the West. Last month, a Burundian born man stormed a police station in Tours, France with a knife and screamed “Allahu Akbar” before slashing at three officers. One barely escaped with his life after the attacker stabbed him in the face, barely missing his jugular. Police shot the would-be killer dead.
Weeks later Amedy Coulibaly opened his own terrifying terror spree by murdering a female police officer. The following day, he was killed after murdering four shoppers in a Jewish deli in Paris.