back to top
World

Belgium Asks Greece To Extradite Suspected Terrorist After Arrest

Four suspected terrorists were detained Saturday in Greece. Belgium has asked Greece to extradite one of the four detainees.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Police in Greece arrested four suspected terrorists Saturday, while in Belgium up to 300 troops were deployed to guard against attacks.

EPA JULIEN WARNAND

In Greece, one of the four suspected terrorists "matches the description" of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Associated Press reported. Police believe Abaaoud, 27, was responsible for a now-defunct jihadi cell in Belgium.

Greek police have sent the man's information — including photos, fingerprints, and DNA — to Belgium for confirmation of his identity.

The BBC also reported that "several" of the people arrested in Greece also have suspected connections to a terror plot in Belgium.

Belgium officials first said there was no connection between those detained in Greece and the terror plot, but hours the federal prosecutor's office said "further analysis" prompted the latest request to Athens to extradite one of the detainees.

"Further analysis of the elements of our investigation gave us enough reasons to ask for the extradition of one of the persons that were arrested yesterday by the Greek authorities," the Belgian federal prosecutors' office said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear if the detainee in question was Abaaoud, BBC reported.

Meanwhile in Belgium, up to 300 troops will be deployed across the country to guard sites against potential terrorist attacks, Belgium's Prime Minister has announced.

"Up to 300 troops will be progressively deployed," Prime Minister Charles Michel said in a statement. "The mobilized troops will be armed and their primary responsibility will be to survey certain sites."

The extra troops will be present in Brussels and Antwerp, and may be deployed to Verviers and other sites if needed.

The sensitive sites included the U.S. and Israeli embassies, as well as NATO and EU buildings, Reuters reported.

"It's very important to say that this wasn't a simple decision, but it was necessary, at a time when police are overly engaged, for the army to enter in a supporting role," Defense Minister Steven Vandeput told reporters.

Belgium's terror threat level has been raised to three, its second highest level, in the wake of the raids, which authorities said broke up plans for a "possible terrorist attack."

Five people were charged Friday with terrorist offenses.

"It was a possible terrorist attack, but we don't know if there were more, if this is really a network of terrorist cells in Belgium and if they're going to attack now, in the next days," Deputy Prime Minister Jan Jambon told the BBC World Service. "Now we have to use all the forces that we have to protect us."

"We've been investigating the data that we found in the houses that we searched, and we're investigating the suspects... and we're looking for other possible targets," Jambon said.

It comes after a series of deadly terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month, which have put European security agencies on high alert.

David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.

Contact David Mack at david.mack@buzzfeed.com.

Jim Dalrymple is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Jim Dalrymple II at jim.dalrymple@buzzfeed.com.

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.