Belgian police launch a ‘dozen’ raids after averting ‘Charlie Hebdo’-style attack

Belgian police launch a ‘dozen’ raids after averting ‘Charlie Hebdo’-style attack

[Ed. – Ongoing.]

More counterterrorism operations were reportedly underway in Belgium late Thursday, hours after police killed at least two in raids aimed at jihadists returning from Syria who were planning to launch a “Belgian Charlie Hebdo” attack, authorities said.

Belgian news site L’Avenir, as well as Le Soir and France24, reported that the government prosecutor’s office said a dozen operations have been launched against suspects across Belgium, in Verviers, Brussels and Hal-Vilvoorde. Some of those targeted in the raids are known to have returned recently from Syria.

The Belgian news site reported that, based on phone intercepts in the homes and cars of the three individuals involved in a shootout in Verviers, authorities believed the three were in the process of carrying out imminent attacks inside Belgium. A shootout between the three and police has left two of the suspected terrorists dead and another wounded.

The French daily Le Soir is reporting that the investigations were launched against the Verviers suspects at least two weeks ago after they returned from Syria where they were thought to be involved in the fighting there.

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