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Muslim Men Arrested/Charged In Belgium; Soccer Tournament Possible Target

By  Michael
Supporters of Belgium hold scarfs during the Euro 2016 Group E soccer match between Belgium and Ireland at the Nouveau Stade in Bordeaux, France, Saturday, June 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Three Muslim men were arrested and charged with terrorism-related offenses after a series of overnight raids on Saturday.

The raids followed a dire warning issued by Belgian intelligence earlier this week, predicting an “imminent” Islamic terror attack.

Police raided the homes of countless Muslim men, ultimately detaining a handful of persons of interest for questioning. Authorities later released nine men after intense questioning.

According to Reuters, “three Belgian nationals identified as 27-year-old Samir C., 40-year-old Moustapha B., and 29-year-old Jawad B., were charged with ‘having attempted to commit a terrorist murder and for participation in the activities of a terrorist group,’ the federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement.”

Saturday afternoon’s Belgium v. Ireland match in Brussels may have been targeted by Islamic terrorists, according to Belgian media reports. Thousands of fans from all over Europe poured into France, Belgium and nearby states for the Euro 2016 soccer tournament.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel attempted to reassure the public over the weekend, claiming that all necessary security precautions are being taken in anticipation of the major sporting event. “We want to continue living normally,” Michel said, after spearheading a security meeting with top intelligence committees. “The situation is under control.”

He continued:

We are extremely vigilant, we are monitoring the situation hour by hour and we will continue with determination the fight against extremism, radicalization and terrorism.

Police will continue to conduct security sweeps in the coming days, searching for anything and anybody that may look suspicious.

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