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Belgian police foil planned terror attack on US embassy in Brussels

Belgian police foil planned terror attack on US embassy in Brussels

Brussels police arrested a man on suspicion of planning an attack on the US embassy in Belgian and European Union capital city, Belgian prosecutors said in a statement.

Little is known about the suspect, who was identified only by his initials M.G. He was arrested on Saturday and charged on Monday with “an attempted attack in a terrorist context and preparing a terrorist offense.”

The prosecutors say they have “converging indications” that had convinced them the suspect was plotting an assault. The man himself denies the charges. The prosecutors said no more details will be released, citing the need to protect the ongoing probe.

Meanwhile, the Belgian state broadcaster RTBF said that the suspect has been under police surveillance for quite some time and was recently spotted acting suspiciously near the US embassy.

Belgium has seen a surge in terrorist activity in recent years. The most high-profile attack took place in Brussels in 2016, when a series of coordinated suicide bombings claimed lives of 32 people and left more than 300 injured. In August 2017, it was reported that the Belgian authorities had opened 189 terrorist cases since the start of that year alone.

The Belgian military and the law enforcement officials have also repeatedly been targeted in terrorist attacks. In 2017, a knife-wielding man attacked a group of soldiers in Brussels, injuring two of them. A year later, another attacker killed two police officers and a bystander in the Belgian city of Liege. Responsibility for both attacks was claimed by Islamic State.