Belgian police detained 13 people from a radical Islamic Salafist-linked group during raids Tuesday across the port city of Antwerp.
An estimated 100 Belgian police officers took part in the raids around Antwerp in an effort to expand an investigation into radical Islamic terror activities in the area, as Antwerp alongside Brussels is a known Jihadist hot spot.
The Belgian federal prosecutor’s office has claimed the 13 individuals are all part of the same alleged terrorist group, and the raid was not to prevent an attack, but as part of a wider clampdown on terrorist activity, The Times Of Israel reports.
In a statement, the federal prosecutors said: “An Antwerp group within the Salafist jihadist milieu has come under scrutiny and the aim of this operation was to further map out the group’s activities.”
Belgium Strips Residency of Imam of Largest Mosque Over Security Concernshttps://t.co/4bZCUlMlXh
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The prosecutors said the accused terrorists will appear before an “investigating judge”, who will then determine whether they will be detained under terrorism charges or released.
Despite only being a small country with a population of 11.55 million people, Belgium has experienced multiple Islamist terrorist attacks over the last decade.