Belgian police thwart terrorist attack outside Paris

Belgian police and the Belgian judicial authorities are taking the credit for preventing a terrorist outrage in France.  It has emerged that a Belgian couple of Iranian heritage from Wilrijk (Antwerp) planned an attack on a meeting of the Iranian opposition on the outskirts of Paris.

It was on Saturday that Belgian police stopped the two Belgians, who were on their way to France, and discovered a bomb detonator and 500 grams of TATP explosives in their car, a Mercedes.  The Belgian army's bomb disposal squad attended the scene of the suspect vehicle in the Brussels district of Stokkel (Sint-Pieters-Woluwe).  Police deployed in large numbers.  Federal prosecutors explained that the targeted action formed part of a wider anti-terrorism operation that included operations across the country.

The Iranian Belgians had hoped to explode their bomb at the weekend.  They have been arrested and are suspected of terrorist murder and preparing a terrorist attack.

The couple, both in their thirties, was eager to target a meeting of the MEK, the People's Mujahedin of Iran, in Villepinte near Paris attended by some 25,000 people.

In Belgium premises in Wilrijk, Boom, Ukkel, Mons and Leuze-en-Hainaut were raided.

Abroad too arrests have been made.  One person is detained in France, while in Germany an Iranian diplomat accredited in Vienna was detained.