The people of Brussels will be starting the first day of the working week with no metros and schools and terror threat level still at the maximum of 4.

Belgian soldiers patrol in Rue Neuve, the busiest shopping street in Brussels, now empty
Belgian soldiers patrol in Rue Neuve, the busiest shopping street in Brussels, now empty after terror alert was raised

The National Security Council which met Sunday evening did not want to take any chances and decided to continue these measures for the time being.  One reason for this is an intelligence report suggesting that Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving participant in the Paris attacks, has an unfinished job – launching similar attacks in Brussels, Flanders News reports.

Salah Abdelslam is said to be planning Paris-style attacks in Brussels with the help of others

Hamza A and Mohammed A, two of Abdeslam’s friends, told Belgium police they got a call from him around 5 am on Nov. 14 saying his car had broken down and one of them should pick him up from Paris. The call came hours after terrorists launched the series of attacks.

When questioned, the two said they were not aware of the Paris attacks.

“We didn’t switch on the radio. Instead we were listening to music,” they said.

However, according to police, Hamza made contradictory statements about his meeting with Abdelslam. First he said he did not notice anything unusual about Abdeslam adding that they just had small talk. Now he says Abdeslam looked “extremely tense”, and “maybe, prepared to blow himself up”.

He said Abdeslam was not carrying any gun but was wearing a thick vest, possibly hiding a suicide bomber belt.

One of the friends said Abdeslam was dropped off at King Boudewijn football stadium while the other contended that he got off at Molenbeek, 6 kilometers away from there.

Detectives believe that Abdeslam, whose whereabouts are still unknown, is planning to carry out Paris-style attacks in Brussels with the help of his comrades.

“It’s not just about Abdeslam. There is also information about other suspects, possible terror units, who would want to stage attacks in Brussels just like in Paris”, said Caroline Vandenberghe, judical expert of the broadcaster VRT.

“We don’t know who these suspects are. But the information comes from foreign intelligence services, among others.”

This was also confirmed by Interior Minister Jan Jambon, who said that Abdeslam “is not the only suspect” police are searching.

After a crisis meeting, Premier Charles Michel told media on Saturday that there are concrete indications for a repeat of the Paris attacks in Brussels.

Leave a comment