Sixth person charged in foiled Belgium terror plot

BRUSSELS (AFP) - Belgian authorities have charged a sixth person with terrorism following a series of raids in Belgium last week that foiled a plot to kill police, the prosecutor's office said on Wednesday.

The man, identified as Abdelmoumaim H. and who is in his 20s, was arrested Tuesday and charged with "participating in the activities of a terrorist group," the prosecutors said.

Five other people who were picked up during the Jan 15 raids face the same count of terrorism, including three Belgian nationals in their 20s who were placed in custody.

The Brussels court prolonged for a month the custody of those three suspects, identified Wednesday as Marouan E, Mohamed A and Billel H.

The prosecutor's office said the suspects are also charged with violating weapons laws, while Marouan E is additionally accused of premeditated armed rebellion in a group.

Belgian media identified him as Marouan El Bali, 25.

During the police raid on a hideout in the eastern town of Verviers, terror suspects Sofiane A, a dual Belgian-Moroccan national, and Khalid B, a Belgian citizen were killed.

Both were in their 20s.

Belgian media said El Bali, who is suspected of providing logistics support to the cell, was detained during the raid on the house in Verviers.

He has denied the accusations and his lawyer said the young man, who lives in Brussels, was just visiting a friend, according to Belgian media.

In the house in Verviers, the authorities found a passport of a Dutch national, Zaiud K, and "the information was handed over to the Dutch authorities who opened" their own case, the prosecutor's office said.

Dutch authorities said Tuesday police in the city of Utrecht raided the family home of a young man believed to have links to the cell dismantled in Belgium.

However, he is thought to have fled Belgium for Spain or France.

Spanish media have identified the suspect as Zaid Kouliss, who was reported missing by his parents last year.

Also, Belgium has asked for the extradition of two fugitives arrested in France.

Another suspect who is an Algerian national, suspected of links to the cell, was arrested Saturday in Athens.

He has agreed to be extradited to Belgium, with Belgian prosecutors saying "his extradition could take place in the following days."