Two people suspected of planning an attack in Brussels during the holidays have been arrested.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the investigation found that “the threat of serious attacks that would target several emblematic places in Brussels and be committed during the end-of-year holidays.”
One of the intended targets was the Belgian capital’s main square, visited by holiday shoppers this time of the year, a source said, as reported by New York Post. “On the Grand Place, there are a lot of people, as well as soldiers and police who are patrolling, as well as a police station nearby,” the source said.
Six people were questioned regarding the incident, according to NBC New York. While four were released, two have been taken into custody. One individual is accused of allegedly leading and recruiting for a terror group and the other for participating in activities of the group.
The investigation is not related to the Paris attacks which killed 130 people in the French capital, the prosecutor’s office said.
Benoit Ramacker, spokesman for the Belgian government’s Crisis Center, said that police has been ordered to take steps to ensure their safety. An official threat assessment that came Monday following the arrests found that police and soldiers deployed could become targets “in the exercise of their functions.”
According to Yahoo News, King Phillipe, in his annual Christmas address to the country, said, “We continue, unfortunately, to be marked by the dramatic attacks perpetrated in Paris, and realize the dangers that continue to weigh on us. The recent events proved how important it is to invest in justice, the police, the army and intelligence services.” He also emphasized that there is a need to also invest in ending “all forms of stigmatization and segregation, and helping people who are drawn to fanatical indoctrination to resist.”