Loading articles...

Dozens arrested, 2 killed as police raid suspected terrorist cells across Europe

A police officer patrols in front of the Antwerp cathedral on January 16, 2015. Belgian police arrested 13 people during a dozen raids overnight, smashing plot to kill police officers "in public roads and in police stations", prosecutors said. AFP PHOTO / BELGA / DIRK WAEM (Photo credit should read DIRK WAEM/AFP/Getty Images)

Authorities have detained at least a dozen people in raids near Paris on Thursday night as part of sweeping anti-terrorism operations across Europe.

French prosecutors suspect the group was providing logistical support for the terror attacks in Paris last week.

It’s not clear at this point how they may have helped the gunmen.

Authorities said the people they detained were in the entourage of Amedy Coulibaly, the shooter behind the deadly hostage standoff at a kosher supermarket.

Belgium

In Belgium, two men were killed and one taken into custody as police raided several locations across the country on Thursday night in search of an Islamist group suspected to be planning attacks.

Prime Minister Charles Michel raised the national security level to three, on a four-point scale, on Friday.

“We are not aware of any specific or concrete threats; however, in the situation we can consider it is useful to raise the level of prudence and vigilance,” Michel said.

“That concretely means that complementary measures of protection and security will be taken which for evident reasons we are not going to communicate.”

Authorities say there are no links between the group targeted in Friday’s raids and the one that coordinated attacks across France in recent weeks.

Germany

Officials raided 12 properties in Berlin and one in Brandenberg early on Friday in the search for radical Islamic Salafists.

Berlin prosecutor Martin Steltner said the raids were not linked to the recent attacks in Paris and there is no evidence an attack was planned on German soil.

“The investigation has been going on for months and the raids had been planned for a while,” Steltner said.

Police were targeting five people they believe were based in Germany and supporting an armed jihad in Syria with logistical and financial support.

Two men were arrested, including a self-declared emir who is suspected of having radicalised people to send into the jihad in Syria and his financial chief.

With files from CNN and Reuters