Al-Qaida prisoner in Belgium denies escape bid or terror attack planned

The al-Qaida prisoner at the center of a terrorism alert in Belgium has denied allegations that his supporters were involved in preparations for a jailbreak or terror attack, in a letter published by a newspaper. "Not before, not today, nor tomorrow will the Belgian state be a target for Muslims," Nizar Trabelsi wrote in the letter published Sunday by the daily La Derniere Heure. His lawyer, Marc Neve, also denied that Trabelsi was planning an escape, telling the RTBF television network his client "wants a good future in Belgium after serving his sentence." Trabelsi, a Tunisian former professional soccer player, is serving 10 years for planning to drive a car bomb into the cafeteria of a Belgian air force base where about 100 US military personnel were based. On Friday, Belgian police detained 14 people suspected of a plot to break him out of jail. A judge ordered their release 24 hours later for lack of evidence.