Belgium terror plot mastermind ′still at large′ | News | DW | 18.01.2015
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Belgium terror plot mastermind 'still at large'

Europe has remained on high alert as the manhunt for the suspected mastermind behind a Belgian terrorist plot continues. The jihadist cell had been coordinated in Greece, where two other men have already been arrested.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who is considered to be the brains behind the cell plotting to kill Belgian police on Friday is still on the run - days after the plot was foiled by intelligence services.

Belgium's Justice Minister Koen Geens told Belgian broadcaster VRT on Sunday that DNA tests showed that the 27-year-old was not among suspects arrested in Athens and is "still at large."

The Brussels-based man of Moroccan origin had left Belgium for Syria to join the Islamic State militant group.

According to Greek news agency ANA-MPA, the two men arrested in Athens on Saturday, however, were both Algerian nationals.

A prosecution spokesperson told Belgian daily Le Soir that earlier on Sunday, further raids had also been carried out in Belgium's capital, Brussels. No arrests were made, however.

Following the initial raids across Belgium on Thursday, which led to the arrests of 13 people, Belgian military was deployed across several cities to reinforce the country's police. Sites currently being guarded by the troops include the Israeli, British and US embassies, as well as the Jewish Museum in Brussels, where a gunman killed four people last year.

The Belgian operation came just a week after three days of terror attacks in Paris at the head quarters of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Kosher supermarket which left 17 dead.

ksb/gsw (AFP, dpa)

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