Belgian police report having prevented 3+ terrorist attacks since early 2017

Europe Materials 21 March 2018 16:08 (UTC +04:00)

Belgian special services have prevented three potential terrorist attacks since the beginning of 2017, Eric Jacobs, the head of the Federal Judicial Police (PJF) in Brussels, said on Wednesday, Sputnik reported.

Belgium's terror alert level has remained at the third out of the four existing terror alert levels since the March 2016 attacks. The fourth level of alert was in effect for only three days after the bombings at the Brussels airport and underground that month.

"Given the fact that the enemy is no longer so structured now, it is very difficult to talk about a thwarted attack. I will rather say that since early 2017, we had three sensitive cases," Jacobs told La Libre Belgique on Wednesday.

According to Jacobs, special services are currently managing more than 1,000 cases related to terrorism.

"This indicator has decreased, but we must remain vigilant, since the number of radicals, however, has not decreased… Last year, 45 percent of all PJF staff were engaged in [counterterrorism affairs]. Now, this figure is little under 30 percent," Jacobs added.

On March 22, 2016, two explosions hit the Brussels airport, with a third detonating inside a train carriage at the Maalbeek metro station half an hour after the airport attack. A total of 32 people were killed, and over 300 more were injured. Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks.