The latest Islamic State video threatened more jihad mass murder attacks — in Belgium, all of Europe, and America.
Belgian police have have killed two men in a shootout – foiling a major terror attack in the country, according to authorities.
They died in Verviers during one of about 10 raids carried out against alleged Islamist extremists thought to have returned from fighting in the Syrian civil war.
As police closed in, suspects opened fire and there was a firefight for several minutes before the pair were killed.
No officers or civilians were hurt, according to a prosecutor.
A member of the Belgian security forces at the scene of the incident
Eric Van Der Sypt said: “The suspects immediately and for several minutes opened fire with military weaponry and handguns on the special units of the federal police before they were neutralised.”
He said police buildings were the target and an attack had been expected in hours or days.
One person was arrested and there were reports he had been injured in the raid but that has not been confirmed.
Belgium’s public broadcaster RTBF said the raid was on an apartment above a bakery and explosions and gunfire were apparently heard near the train station.
The website of La Meuse newspaper quoted an unidentified police officer as saying: “We’ve averted a Belgian Charlie Hebdo.”
The French satirical magazine was attacked last week by brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi who killed 12 people.
But Mr Van Der Sypt said there was, for the time being, no direct connection to the Paris attacks.
He said more anti-terrorist raids were taking place in the Brussels region and Verviers, adding that Belgium’s terror alert level was raised to its second-highest level
Video posted online of what appeared to be the operation in Verviers showed a dark view of a building amid blasts, gunshots and sirens, and a fire with smoke billowing up.
Click here for the latest updates on the raid.
The incident reportedly took place near a street called Rue des Ecoles.
One resident told RTL: “I heard the first explosion and then several shots. I cannot say more at this time. I dare not go down to take a look.”
The operation was one one of several being conducted against people believed to have returned to Belgium after taking part in the Syrian civil war.
It has the highest number of citizens per head of population in Europe who have fought for the Syrian rebels, research says.
Police were reportedly hunting a man who witnesses said had brandished a weapon and shouted religious slogans in Arabic at a Brussels metro station.
Earlier, Belgian authorities arrested a man suspected of supplying the gunmen who killed 17 people in Paris, as funerals for the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attacks continued.
Police in Charleroi are holding the suspect on suspicion of arms dealing after he handed himself in to police in the city on Tuesday.
He told officers he had been in touch with Amedy Coulibaly, the militant who took hostages in a Jewish supermarket in the French capital and was later killed by security forces.
According to reports, the man said he had conned Coulibaly in a car sale.
But police later found evidence the pair were negotiating the sale of bullets for a 7.62mm caliber firearm – the type needed for the Tokarev pistol Coulibaly used in his attack on the supermarket in Paris that left four hostages dead.