Belgium Foils Terrorist's Prison Break

14 arrested in plot to free Osama disciple; security tightened
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2007 5:19 PM CST
Belgium Foils Terrorist's Prison Break
Belgian Police officers stand guard in the Central Train Station in Brussels, Friday Dec. 21, 2007, following the arrest of 14 suspected Islamic militants. The security level went a step higher against a possible terrorist attack as a plot to liberate an Al Qaeda suspect from jail was uncovered. (AP...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Police in Belgium today arrested 14 men accused of plotting to bust one of Osama bin Laden's devotees out of jail; authorities then ramped up security at airports and Christmas markets to guard against a terror attack. Police say the men planned an armed assault on the prison holding Nizar Trabelsi, convicted in 2003 of plotting to attack US military personnel in Belgium.

"Since it could not be excluded that the group had other plans and because of the heightened terror threat this time of year, it was decided no risk should be taken," said a police official. Trabelsi, 37, a former pro soccer player, says he planned to carry out a suicide attack in bin Laden's name against a base hosting US troops. (Read more Belgium stories.)

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