Belgium charges 10th terror suspect over Paris attacks, cancels New Year's Eve
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Belgian prosecutors say they have arrested a tenth terror suspect linked to the Paris attacks last month, as the country tightens security ahead of New Year celebrations. The 22 year-old was detained on Wednesday during a house raid in the troubled neighbourhood of Molenbeek. His arrest comes after an alleged jihadi plot to attack the capital during the festivities was revealed.
The Belgian national, identified only as Ayoub B, has been charged with "terrorist murder" and involvement in the activities of a terrorist group, prosecutors said on Thursday.
His arrest follows two arrests on Tuesday, with police seizing Islamic State propaganda in a series of raids in Brussels, Liège and the Flanders region of Belgium. The pair are believed to have been plotting New Year terror attacks in the capital where the terror alert level is on maximum.
These latest raids are just another sign of the authorities' efforts to step up their investigation of radical groups since the November 13 attacks in Paris.
Belgium has been at the heart of the Paris investigation, given that several of the attackers came from there.
The troubled neighbourhood of Molenbeek, where the tenth terror suspect was arrested on Tuesday, has emerged as a European hotbed of Islamist extremism. It's also the home of the Paris attacks fugitive Salah Abdeslam.
Europe's most wanted man is said to have exchanged phone calls with the tenth terror suspect arrested Ayoub B. Dozens of mobile phones were seized during Wednesday's raid on his home.
The suspect will appear in court again for a custody hearing within five days, Belgian prosecutors added.
Meanwhile, officials have cancelled the capital city’s main New Year’s Eve fireworks display because of the terror threat to avoid any risk.