VIDEO: Pro-Active Police Raids Lead to Several Important Terror Suspect Arrests
As the justice and interior ministers of Belgium offered their resignations over their failure to heed the warnings of Turkish officials about one of the suicide bombers who carried out the deadly attacks in Brussels on Tuesday, police carried out a series of raids throughout Brussels yielding several arrests termed “significant.”
The resignations of Justice Minister Koen Geens and Interior Minister Jan Jambon were rejected by Prime Minister Charles Michel who reportedly told them, “in time of war, you cannot leave the field.”
Six arrests were made in Schaerbeek, a suburb where police found a bomb containing shrapnel and an ISIS flag in an apartment following house-to-house searches in the neighborhood, with a seventh arrest elsewhere in the city that was rocked with Tuesday’s terror attack at Zaventem Airport and two subway station that left 31 dead and hundreds injured.
Brussels police and the federal government have faced embarrassing questions following the deadly violence, as it was revealed that they failed to connect the dots linking the coordinated attacks in Paris in November with terrorists hiding in plain sight while planning more assaults in the name of Islamic jihad.
The arrest of Salah Abdeslam, who betrayed his brother and fellow terrorists at the last-minute by shedding his explosive vest and fleeing during the Paris attacks, has been cited as a possible triggering event for the Brussels violence, because police told revealed his cooperation with authorities during interrogation.
It is now thought, based on information from Abdeslam, that a far more deadly attack, along the lines of the simultaneous assaults in Paris was in the works when he was captured.
Police work after the Paris bombings yielded ten hours of surveillance recordings at a Belgian nuclear plant, suggesting the terrorists were looking to target the facility or obtain materials necessary for the construction of a “dirty” bomb.
As authorities scramble to prevent the next attack, the director of Europol, the police agency of the EU, told the BBC that the jihadi network “is more extensive than perhaps we first feared” with possibly as many as 5,000 radicalized Muslims going to Syria and Iraq for terror training and returning to the continent to carry out their missions of jihad.