Friday, December 3

Belgium charges two for attack plot on Iran opposition in France

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BRUSSELS: Belgian prosecutors yesterday charged a husband and wife over a plot to bomb a weekend rally by an exiled Iranian opposition group in France.

Amir S. and Nasimeh N., both Belgian nationals, “are suspected of having attempted to carry out a bomb attack” on Saturday in the Paris suburb of Villepinte, during a conference organised by the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, a statement from the Belgian federal prosecutor said.

The couple, described by prosecutors as being “of Iranian origin”, carried 500g of the volatile explosive TATP along with a detonation device when an elite police squad stopped them in a residential district of Brussels.

An alleged accomplice was under arrest in France, while two others were released after questioning by French police.

The statement said an Iranian diplomat at the Austrian embassy in Vienna, a contact of the couple, was also arrested in Germany.

Police carried out five raids across Belgium on Saturday linked to the affair, authorities said.

The People’s Mojahedin (MEK), formed in the 1960s to overthrow the shah of Iran, fought the rise of the mullahs in Tehran following the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Belgium has been on high alert since the smashing of a terror cell in the town of Verviers in January 2015 that was planning an attack on police. – AFP