BRUSSELS (AFP) - Belgian authorities charged five people with “participating in a terrorist group” following a series of raids to foil alleged imminent attacks against the police, the prosecutor’s office said Friday.
Three people, including one who survived a deadly police raid in the eastern town of Verviers, were placed in custody and two others conditionally released, prosecutor spokesman Eric Van der Sijpt told AFP.
He declined to identify the accused.
The eight other people who had been detained following the raids in Verviers and in the Brussels area will not be prosecuted.
Van der Sijpt said an examining magistrate issued a European arrest warrant for two Belgians questioned by French customs as they tried to enter Italy after leaving Belgium in the wake of Thursday’s raids.
Belgian newspapers identified the survivor of the raid that killed two alleged militants in Verviers as Marouane T.
His lawyer, Didier de Quevy, told newspapers from the Sudpresse group that the man denied having been implicated in a plot and having travelled to Syria, saying instead he was involved in a drug deal when police carried out the raid.
Islamist Twitter accounts identified the two men who were killed in the raid as Radwan Haqawi and Tareq Jadoun.
Prosecutors said the men had opened fire with combat weapons when police intervened.
Sudpresse reported that two young men – whose names they spelt as Redwane Hajaoui and Tarik Jadaoun – had left Verviers for Syria and had returned to their home town without their parents knowledge.
“Redwane Hajaoui is apparently one of the victims,” Sudpresse wrote on its website.