Brussels attacks: Six people arrested in Belgian anti-terror raids

Six people have been arrested in a series of police raids in the Belgian capital, the federal prosecutor’s office says.

Three of the suspects were detained “outside the door of the federal prosecutor’s office” in the central area of Brussels, spokesman Eric Van der Sypt said.

Two further people were arrested elsewhere in the city and the sixth was detained in Jette, on the outskirts of the capital, the spokesman said that without giving any further details on their identity.

“It will be decided tomorrow if an arrest warrant (charges) are brought against these people,” he added.

Raids have also taken place in the Brussels district of Schaerbeek. There have been no arrests in the neighbourhood. The raids and subsequent arrests happened days after militant’s attacks at the Brussels airport and metro station killed 31 people.

Who are the Brussels attackers?

What we know about the men who carried out the bombing attacks in the Belg ian capital. Public broadcaster VRT said on its website the raids were part of the ongoing investigations into the attacks.

The raids came after Belgium lowered its security alert level one notch down from four, the highest level, to three.

Belgian Crisis Centre said it made the decision after reviewing the situation, saying the threat of an attack was “less imminent”.

Crisis Centre director Alain Lefevre said more metro stations would gradually open under police and military guard. Brussels airport is expected to remain closed until Monday.

Meawhile, Belgium’s interior and justice ministers offered to resign over the failure to track an Islamic State militant expelled twice by Turkey as a suspected fighter and who blew himself up at Brussels airport.

Ibrahim El Bakraoui was one of three identified suspected suicide bombers who hit the airport and a metro train in the worst terrorist attack in Belgian history.

At least one other man seen with them on airport security cameras is on the run and a fifth suspected bomber filmed in the metro attack may be dead or alive.

Bakraoui’s brother Khalid, 26, killed about 20 people at Maelbeek metro station in the city centre.

De Morgen newspaper said he had violated the terms of his parole in May by maintaining contacts with past criminal associates, but a Belgian magistrate had released him. The brothers were also reportedly known to US authorities and listed in American terrorism databases.

NBC cited two unnamed US officials as saying the pair was listed as a “potential terror threat” in US databases but that they would not specify on “which of the many US terrorism databases the brothers were listed”.

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