Spain holds 4 over suspected Belgium attacks link

The four were among nine men arrested in a vast operation targeting suspected extremists that was carried out in the northeastern region of Catalonia in conjunction with Belgian police, Catalan police said in a statement.

Spain holds 4 over suspected Belgium attacks link

World Bulletin / News Desk

Spanish police on Tuesday arrested four men with alleged links to suspects held in Belgium over their involvement in the Brussels airport and metro attacks last year, officials said.

The men -- a Spanish national and eight Moroccans living in Catalonia, all 30 to 40 years old -- are believed to belong to a terrorist organisation, the statement added.

"Four of those who were detained have links with people arrested for the attacks carried out at Brussels airport and metro," a spokesman for Catalonia's regional police force told AFP.

It is not clear if the four were directly involved in carrying out the Brussels attacks, the spokesman added.

Belgium has been on high alert since March 22 last year when suicide bombers attacked Zaventem airport and the Maalbeek metro station, killing 32 people and leaving more than 320 wounded.

The attacks were led by an ISIL cell that was also responsible for the carnage in Paris in November 2015.

"The Belgian judge leading the investigation into the Brussels airport attack found ties between the suspected authors of the attack and the Moroccans who live in Catalonia," a spokesman for Spain's National Court, which handles terrorism investigations, told AFP.

The men arrested in Catalonia "may have participated or cooperated in past actions" and may have travelled to Belgium, Catalonia's regional interior minister Jordi Jane told radio Rac1.

There were no "clear indications" that the suspects arrested  Tuesday intended to carry out an attack in Spain, he added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Nisan 2017, 17:53