14 al-Qaeda Suspects Arrested During EU Summit

Huge police operation as European leaders arrive in Brussels
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2008 8:00 AM CST
French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrives for an EU summit in Brussels, Thursday Dec. 11, 2008. Belgian police arrested 14 people accused of working with al-Qaeda as EU leaders arrived in the capital.   (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
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(Newser) – Belgian police have arrested 14 people with suspected links to al-Qaeda, including 3 who allegedly were planning an attack. The Guardian reports that the suspects may have been planning a suicide bombing at a summit of EU leaders in Brussels, which opened today and is being attended by all the continent's heads of government. But it remained unclear whether the suspects were targeting the summit.

This morning the police carried out 16 different raids in Brussels after a year-long investigation described as the most important in Belgium's history. Police discovered that one man had said goodbye to his family and had "received the green light" for a suicide attack. But a federal prosecutor said, "It could have been an operation in Pakistan or Afghanistan, but it can't be ruled out that Belgium or Europe could have been the target."