Belgium charges four suspects over IS group recruiting network

Belgium Police

Belgium Police

Belgian prosecutors on Wednesday charged four people with participating in a terrorist organisation, including funding and recruiting would-be fighters to join the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria.

The terror-related charges were announced after 15 early morning raids in the northern cities of Ghent, Antwerp and Deinze, the federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

“Those persons have been indicted for participation in the activities of a terrorist group,” the statement said.

“Some of them are suspected of recruiting people with a view to departing to Syria and joining Islamic State there,” it added.

The Begian prosecutors added that no arms or explosives were found, and that there was of yet no established link with the suicide bomb attacks that killed 32 people in Brussels last March.

The deadly bomb attacks on the Brussels airport and metro were claimed by the IS group.

High terror alert

Some of the suicide bombers, who grew up in central Brussels and were known to the authorities, also took part in the Paris November attacks, which claimed 130 lives and left hundreds injured.

Belgium has been on its second highest terror alert since the Paris and Brussels attacks.

There has been a series of incidents since March despite a much-increased security presence on the streets, the latest being early this month when two police offers were stabbed in the Schaerbeek area of Brussels.

Prosecutors charged the suspect in that case with “attempted murder in a terrorist context and participation in the activities of a terrorist group”.