03:26 GMT30 September 2020
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    Terrorism Threat in Europe (269)
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    The United States reportedly was aware of the potential plotting of a terrorist attack in Belgium and the American intelligence shared critical information with Belgian authorities.

    MOSCOW, January 17 (Sputnik) – The United States was aware of the potential plotting of a terrorist attack in Belgium and cooperated with local authorities prior to the Friday shoot-out in which two of the suspected jihadists were killed, CNN reports.

    "[The] developing plot was being monitored and watched" and the American intelligence shared critical information with Belgian authorities, a US official told CNN Friday.

    "We were aware. We were tracking this," the official said, adding that there is a "high probability" other attacks were being planned.

    The suspected Islamist terrorists, who planned to launch attacks in Belgium and other European countries have ties with Islamic State (IS)-linked cells in Europe, CNN reported Friday, citing a senior Belgian counter-terrorism source.

    Two of the suspects, who were killed in a shoot-out with police in the Belgian town of Verviers on Friday, had fought alongside IS militants in Syria, according to the source, who warned against potential attacks that might be launched to avenge the two men in the near future.

    According to CNN, on Thursday, French-speaking men claiming to be IS militants said in a video that there would be terror attacks in France, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland.

    IS, a radical Sunni group also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been active in Iraq and Syria. A US-led anti-IS coalition has been launching airstrikes against the militants who have ceased vast areas in the two countries.

    Last week, the US State Department warned that there is currently an increased likelihood of reprisal IS attacks in Europe.

    The warning came days after suspected Islamic extremists opened fire in the office of the Paris-based Charlie Hebdo magazine, killing 12 people and injuring another 11.

    Terrorism Threat in Europe (269)


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