Brussels Raises Terror Alert to Highest Level

Warning 'based on quite precise information'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 21, 2015 5:31 AM CST
Brussels Raises Terror Alert to Highest Level
Mohammad Abdeslam, left, the brother of Paris attackers Salah and Brahim Abdelslam, lights candles with an unidentified man on the balcony of his house.   (Virginia Mayo)

Belgium's capital entered a security lockdown Saturday as the government warned of a threat of a repeat of Paris-style attacks, with subways in Brussels closed and heavily armed police and soldiers deployed. At least one suspect from the deadly Paris attacks is at large, and was last seen crossing into Belgium. Prime Minister Charles Michel said the decision to raise the threat level was taken "based on quite precise information about the risk of an attack like the one that happened in Paris ... where several individuals with arms and explosives launch actions, perhaps even in several places at the same time."

Belgium's national Crisis Center had raised its terrorism alert for the Brussels region to Level 4, which indicates a "serious and immediate threat." Brussels was home to the suspected organizer of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, and Belgium has filed charges of "participation in terrorist attacks and participation in the activities of a terrorist organization" against three suspects relating to the Paris attacks. At least one Paris attacker, Salah Abdeslam, crossed into Belgium the morning after the attacks. A new potential link emerged Saturday in Turkey, where authorities said they detained a 26-year-old Belgian suspected of connections to Islamic extremists—and possibly to the Paris attacks. (Officials have confirmed that Abaaoud died in a police raid Wednesday.)

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