Terrorist outrage still "likely"

The Belgian leader Charles Michel has told newsmen that the country's terror threat alert level will stay at level 3, the second highest level. Mr Michel was speaking following a meeting of Belgium's Security Council that groups key government ministers.

The Belgian PM reported that the OCAD, the body that analyses the terrorist threat, does not believe that the arrest of Salah Abdeslam changes the terrorist threat in Belgium. Level 3 means a terrorist atrocity is "likely".

The Security Council met at Wetstraat 16, the seat of the Belgian cabinet, at 10AM this morning to hear justice and security officials brief it on the terrorist threat and the required measures.

Mr Michel: "We are exceptionally relieved, but we should certainly remain vigilant. There can be no doubt: the operations of the past week are the fruit of gigantic labour. A lot of hard work has been accomplished in past weeks in order to realise these results. However, the battle against terrorism is not at an end. We remain steadfast."

Mr Michel was keen to thank law enforcers and the people of Molenbeek, the Brussels borough that has been the international focus of  the terrorist alert. The prime minister stressed the importance of taking terrorists alive: "It's exceptionally important for the victims and the legal process."

Mr Michel said he had no political objection to the extradition of Salah Abdeslam to France, but that the legal process would have to take its course: "We must do our all to work well with the French. Extradition could take several weeks."