Belgian police on Thursday carried out a new raid in connection with a foiled attack plot in France whose main suspect was charged this week with membership of a terrorist organisation, prosecutors said.
“A raid is under way in connection with the (Reda) Kriket case. It is taking place at Marke, in the town of Courtrai” in northwestern Belgium, Eric Van Der Sypt, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office, said.
Soldiers and police officers could be seen taking part in the operation near a busy motorway, according to images from local media.
French national Reda Kriket was arrested near Paris last week and at his apartment police found a cache of assault rifles, handguns and TATP, the highly volatile homemade explosive favoured by Islamic State (IS) jihadists.
French prosecutor Francois Molins said Wednesday that “no specific target” had been identified for the foiled attack, but the cache of weapons showed an imminent act of “extreme violence” had likely been prevented.
Kriket’s arrest came four months after IS jihadists killed 130 people in the French capital.
Investigators in France and Belgium have been stepping up efforts to smash a network of IS-linked extremists blamed for both the November Paris attacks and last week’s suicide bombings on the Brussels airport and metro that killed 32 people.
Belgium has so far charged two suspects — Abderrahmane Ameroud, 38, and Rabah M., 34 — over the foiled plot linked to Kriket.