Brussels has been put into security lockdown after Belgian intelligence received ‘precise information’ of a planned Paris-style ISIS attack in the capital.
Belgium’s prime minister Charles Michel confirmed that the decision to raise the terror alert level in Brussels was taken ‘based on quite precise information about the risk of an attack like the one that happened in Paris.’
Service has been halted on the Brussels subway system and heavily armed police and soldiers are patrolling the Belgian capital amid a high security alert.
The country’s national security center has raised the terror threat level to Level four after fears of a ‘serious and imminent’ terror threat involving ‘weapons and explosives’.
Speaking at a news conference, the Belgium Prime Minister said the fear was that ‘several individuals with arms and explosives could launch an attack … perhaps even in several places’.
‘We urge the public not to give in to panic, to stay calm. We have taken the measures that are necessary,’ Mr Michel added.
People in Brussels have been told to avoid public gatherings, including concerts, train stations and airports.
Belgium’s interior minister Jan Jambon said the country’s situation is ‘serious’ but under control with the nation at its highest state of alert.
Jan Jambon told reporters as he arrived for a special security Cabinet meeting Saturday that ‘the situation is serious. Otherwise we would not go to Level 4, but the situation is under control.’
The terror alert comes as authorities across Europe try to determine how a network of primarily French and Belgian attackers carried out the deadly attacks in Paris which left 130 people dead.
Brussels was home to the suspected organizer of the November 13 Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who was killed in a dramatic police shootout on Wednesday.
Security officers continue to hunt for the suspected eight gunman, Saleh Abdeslam, 26, whose brother Brahim, carried out the suicide bomb attack at Le Comptoir Voltaire, killing only himself.
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