Belgium arrests 16 as manhunt for Paris attacker continues

BRUSSELS,  Police in Belgium arrested 16 people in the manhunt for suspected Islamic State militant Salah Abdeslam as Brussels remains on the highest alert level.

Belgium-arrests-16-as-manhunt-for-Paris-attacker-continues
Police in Belgium arrested 16 people as the manhunt for suspected Islamic State militant Salah Abdeslam continues and Brussels remains on the highest alert level. Brussels was a base of operations for the Islamic State militants who carried out coordinated attacks in Paris on Nov. 10 where at least 130 people died. Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belgian authorities carried out about 22 raids throughout Sunday in Brussels and the nearby city of Charleroi. Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw did not identify any of the 16 people in custody and said no firearms or explosives were found.

Abdeslam, 26, is being sought in a high-profile manhunt. He is a French citizen living in Brussels who police describe as armed and dangerous. Several of Abdeslam’s friends in Brussels said he possibly may be traveling to Syria.

Belgium raised the terror alert on Saturday in Brussels to the highest level due to a “serious and imminent threat.” Prime Minister Charles Michel said the Belgian capital is under threat of attacks similar to those inflicted upon Paris.

Public transportation, universities and schools in Brussels will remain closed Monday. Brussels was a base of operations for the Islamic State militants who carried out coordinated attacks in Paris on Nov. 10 where at least 130 people died.

The Charles de Gaulle French military aircraft carrier will begin operations in the Mediterranean Sea on Monday against IS targets in Syria.

By Andrew V. Pestano

UPI