Plans for a major terror attack on fans watching today’s Euro 2016 match, Belgium vs Ireland, were foiled by Belgian police after terror raids overnight. The terror attack was planned to target fans watching the match between Belgium and the Republic of Ireland teams this afternoon, with the game taking place in Belgium’s neighboring country, France. With Europe on high alert during the Euro 2016 football tournament this month, and with millions gathering to public viewing locations to support their team every day, the terror attack plan hatched by extremists residing in Belgium was unpleasant but unsurprising.
The attack was to take place in Belgium’s capital, Brussels, a central location at which thousands were expected to congregate to watch the Belgium vs. Ireland match; the plot was foiled overnight by Belgian police who had received an anti-terror alert.
The threat of terror is present in Ireland, but has never been more palpable for both France and Belgium, whose capital cities are still reeling from deadly terror attacks in November last year, and March this year, respectively. Islamic extremist terrorists staged mass shootings and suicide bombings in Paris, leaving 130 people dead and hundreds more injured. Only three months ago, jihadists staged a triple bombing at Brussels airport and central station, killing 32 people.
The Indian Express reported that Belgian police were poised to deploy forces instantly upon receiving a terror alert in Belgium on the eve of the undoubtedly monumentally popular spectator event, the Belgium vs. Ireland match. The terror alert received was said to be related to suspected accomplices of the Paris and Brussels attackers, with links between the ISIS-allegiant terrorists confirmed by investigators in Belgium.
“Flemish public broadcaster VTM said the people arrested overnight were suspected of planning an attack in Brussels this weekend during [the Belgium vs Ireland match],” reported The Indian Express.
“Belgian police on Wednesday received an anti-terror alert warning that a group of Islamic State fighters recently left Syria en route for Europe planning attacks in Belgium and France… On Friday police arrested and detained a man named as Youssef E.A, a Belgian national, on suspicion of taking part in terrorist activities in connection with the Brussels attacks.”
According to The Irish Independent, 12 suspects have been arrested after plans for a major terror attack were foiled by Belgian police. The attack targeted fans watching today’s Euro 2016 match, Belgium vs. Ireland, but raids in response to a high security alert were conducted and all suspects were taken in for questioning. It is likely that, since the terror attack was planned to target fans watching the match between Belgium and the Republic of Ireland teams this afternoon, Belgium, Ireland, and nations across Europe will remain on a high security alert due to the threat of terrorism.
In a statement issued by Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel after a meeting with Belgium’s ministers of defense, foreign affairs, home affairs and justice, it was announced that the Belgium vs. Ireland match, and all other Euro 2016 matches, would go on as planned, with extra security and anti-terror measures in place.
“We want to continue living normally,” Michel said at the news conference. “The situation is under control….
“We are extremely vigilant, we are monitoring the situation hour by hour and we will continue with determination the fight against extremism, radicalisation and terrorism,” he said.
Je salue le travail des enquêteurs qui ont pu démanteler des cellules terroristes. Ns suivons la situation h par h. pic.twitter.com/uicREJEvcx— Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) June 18, 2016
Charles Michel also tweeted the above prior to the Belgium vs Ireland match, which translated to, “I salute the work of investigators who were able to dismantle terrorist cells. We are following the situation hour by hour.”
With 12 suspected Islamic extremist fighters arrested in Belgium after plans for a major terror attack on fans watching today’s Euro 2016 match, Belgium vs. Ireland, were foiled by Belgian police after terror raids overnight, 28 additional suspects were taken in for questioning in connection with the criminal investigation.
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