Belgian police launched a fresh operation — this time in the Brussels neighborhood of Etterbeek — on Saturday, a day after making several arrests tied to recent terror attacks in that city and Paris.
About 50 police officers could be seen in and around closed-off streets Saturday afternoon in Etterbeek. Witnesses reported that forensic teams had entered one particular building.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether authorities were going after people, evidence, or both. They didn’t appear to be heavily armed or protected — unlike during previous raids in recent weeks that turned bloody.
Saturday’s police activity comes one day after the arrests of six people around Belgium.
One of them, Mohamed Abrini, has been tied through surveillance video and DNA to last November’s terror attacks on Paris, which left 130 people dead.
Authorities also want to question Abrini in connection to the Brussels airport bombing on March 22, part of the attacks that killed 32 people. One possibility is that he’s the lone survivor in the airport attack — the man in a hat shown in surveillance video rolling luggage carts with two men now thought to be suicide bombers.
Abrini was detained with two others in an operation in Anderlecht, Belgian federal prosecutor’s spokesman Thierry Werts told reporters on Friday.
Osama Krayem, also known as Naim al Hamed, was detained, along with another person, in a separate police operation Friday in Brussels.
A French source close to the investigation into ISIS’ terror network in France and Belgium told CNN that Krayem is believed to have had an operational role in the Brussels attack.
The other arrested person that authorities have named is Bilal Al Makhoukhi, though it wasn’t immediately clear where he was detained or why.