Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Belgian 'al Qaeda cell' linked to 2006 airline plot
A CNN documentary, One Woman's War, broadcast on Tuesday evening claims that the alleged cell had high-level links to al-Qaeda. The shocking story of Malika el Aroud, a Belgian-Moroccan woman convicted of running a Web site promoting terrorism.
An alleged terrorist cell arrested as Gordon Brown prepared to meet European leaders in Brussels is said to have connections to the highest levels of al-Qaeda, it can be revealed. The cell was suspected of being directed by a senior al-Qaeda planner.
According to Belgian counter-terrorism sources, the group was radicalised by a woman whose former husband has links to Abu Qatada, the radical preacher in jail in Britain. Belgian police rounded up the alleged cell as European leaders gathered in the Belgian capital for a two-day summit in December to discuss the economic crisis and climate change.
Johan Delmulle, the Federal Prosecutor, claimed one suspect had "received the green light to carry out an operation from which he was not expected to come back" and added: "This information, linked to the fact that a European summit is getting underway at this moment in Brussels, left us no choice but to take action."
The group of five men and a woman was only charged with membership of a terrorist organisation because investigators were unable to positively identify their target.