Planned attack in Brussels: three minors indicted in France, including two placed in detention

On Sunday, four men were arrested in Belgium following a planned attack targeting a concert hall.

Planned attack in Brussels: three minors indicted in France, including two placed in detention

On Sunday, four men were arrested in Belgium following a planned attack targeting a concert hall. This Friday, three minors, in contact with them, were indicted, after their arrest on French soil.

While arrests following a planned attack targeting a concert hall in Brussels took place on Sunday in Belgium, three minors were arrested a few days later on French soil and indicted this Friday for “terrorist criminal association.” criminal.” After 96 hours in police custody, two of them were placed in pre-trial detention and the youngest of the three was placed under judicial supervision, said the national anti-terrorism prosecutor's office, as reported by Franceinfo.

The three teenagers were, in fact, suspected of having been in contact with the men arrested on Sunday in Belgium. Even if they were not directly involved in the planned attack, they "interacted in a group of a social network in which exchanges of jihadist propaganda took place and plans for an attack were mentioned", specified the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor's Office to the AFP.

Their police custody was linked to two separate procedures. The first has focused since November 2023 on a “terrorist criminal association and apology of terrorism” and concerns one of the minors placed in detention. The second, opened last week, for "terrorist criminal association with a view to preparing one or more crimes of personal injury" targeted the two other teenagers. Both indicted, it was the 17-year-old who was incarcerated while the 15-year-old was placed under judicial supervision.

A few days earlier, in Brussels, tension rose a notch after a planned attack was discovered. It targeted the Botanique concert hall, one of the largest in the Belgian capital, and was planned “in a few weeks,” BFMTV said. A series of searches made it possible to foil the plans of the potential attackers. Four men, including three minors, were arrested on Sunday March 3. They are suspected of belonging to the Islamist movement and are said to have exchanged messages deemed “worrying enough” to intervene. However, no weapons or explosives were found on site. The three minor suspects appeared before the investigating judge this Monday and were charged. Same fate for the major suspect for “participation in the activities of a terrorist group” and “preparatory acts for an attack”. Arrested in three cities in France, they were placed in police custody by the General Directorate of Internal Security for “terrorist criminal association”. Gérald Darmanin had reacted to these arrests on French territory.

The youth of the suspects is one of the striking elements of this case: "They are very flexible. If someone gives them a weapon, for example, things can happen very, very quickly. So we don't want to take any risks" , commented the spokesperson for the Belgian federal prosecutor's office, Eric Van Der Sypt.

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