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Four arrested over plan to attack Brussels venue

The Botanique concert hall in Brussels has confirmed it was the target of a foiled terrorist attack last weekend, which resulted in the arrest of three minors and one adult.

The four suspects had met online, where they allegedly forged plans to commit an attack on the venue in a few weeks. Their conversations reportedly referred to the terrorist group Islamic State.

On Sunday (4 March) morning, the three minors from Ninove, Brussels and Charleroi, and one adult from Liège were arrested. No weapons or explosives were found during the searches, but the Federal Prosecutor’s Office confiscated laptops and mobile phones for further investigation.

The 18-year-old suspect was brought before the investigating judge this morning (5 March) and charged with “participating in the activities of a terrorist group and preparatory acts with a view to committing a terrorist attack,” according to the Prosecutor’s Office.

After consultation with the services, it was deemed that the venue’s current security measures are adequate

The three minors were put in front of an investigating judge in Dendermonde, a city in the Flemish province of East Flanders.

The Botanique concert hall team told Belga News Agency that it was in contact with the security services throughout the weekend.

After consultation with the services, it was deemed that the current security measures, which have been in place since the 2015 Paris terror attacks and the 2016 terror attacks in Belgium, are adequate.

Following those attacks, the venue reinforced its security team and additional measures were put in place at the entrance and across the site, such as checking bags.

“These measures are evaluated on an ongoing basis,” the venue noted, adding that “planned events and concerts can continue according to the current security standards”.


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