A Belgian terror cell poised to carry out ‘a second Paris’ attack planned to abduct and behead a senior policeman or judge, it was claimed today.
The radical Islamic group smashed in police raids yesterday planned to film the horrific murder and circulate the footage online, bringing the brutality of ISIS to the West, police sources said.
It comes as Belgium’s police HQ was placed under armed guard after anti-terror commandos shot dead two suspected Islamic State jihadis and arrested a third in the eastern town of Verviers.
‘A second Paris has been avoided,’ an official from Belgium’s ministry of justice was quoted as saying, with reports claiming the jihadis had planned to launch attacks on police.
Police swooped on the cell after having them under surveillance for several weeks, making a dozen raids across the country.
The trigger for the operation was the return of a terror kingpin yesterday from abroad to Verviers, Belgian newspaper Het Laatste News reported.
According to the investigators, it was then only a matter of hours or days until the suspects put their sick plan into action, the newspaper said.
It was not yet clear whether the radical Islamist leader was among the dead or was the man who was overpowered.
Some cell members were not at home when the simultaneous raids took place and could now be at large, a source close to the investigation told MailOnline.
Written by Hannah Roberts and Damien Gayle for MailOnline and Peter Allen and David Williams, Chief Reporter for the Daily Mail
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