An aerial view of people walking through the Brussels Grand' Place.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Belgium has thwarted multiple terror attacks by jihadist fighters returning home from war-torn Syria, the L'Echo newspaper reported on Saturday.
Belgian security and justice officials revealed that the planned attacks were similar in their scope to the one carried out by Mehdi Nemmouche at the Jewish Museum of Brussels on May 24.
Some 90 Belgians who fought in Syria have returned to the country, a source told L'Echo
; among them, one out of nine intends to "execute an act of terror.” That estimate was "conservative – if one also takes into account people who provide logistical support for these attacks."
Information about the potential terrorist attacks was withheld from the public over the past few months due to security concerns.
Officials did not disclose details about the nature of the operations to tackle the growing terrorism threat in the country or about specific sites that were targets, but did reveal that several arrests have been made in recent months.
Belgium, like many countries in Europe, faces a growing threat that its citizens involved in fighting in the civil war in Syria, could return home and plan attacks against the homeland.