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  Thursday, October 22, 2020
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Belgian authorities released 14 people suspected
Belgian authorities released 14 people suspected of a plot to free an Al-Qaeda prisoner and stage terrorist attacks, but maintained enhanced security measures imposed after the detention, the Interior Ministry said Saturday.

A court said the 14 members of the Muslim diaspora detained on Friday on suspicion they were planning to free Nizar Trabelsi and conduct a series of terrorist attacks, were to be released due to a lack of evidence.

Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt confirmed that tightened police measures in the capital would last into January 2, citing data that "an act of terrorism could be planned."

Trabelsi, a former soccer player, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2003 for planning an attack at American military personnel stationing at a Belgian airbase 160 kilometers (about 100 miles) outside Brussels.

Belgium has no anti-terrorism legislation that would allow terrorist suspects to be held in jail for longer than 24 hours without charge.


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