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Two Dozen Nabbed in Europe Anti-Terror Raids

01-16-2015
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Europe is on high alert Friday after police put a stop to what they say was about to be another major European terrorist attack.

More than two dozen suspects have been arrested in anti-terror sweeps in France, Germany, and Belgium.

Authorities increased security around Brussels, less than two hours from Paris where the French are also on high alert after terror attacks there last week left 17 dead.

In Belgium, investigators tried to serve warrants to terror suspects in the small town of Verviers who had recently returned from Syria.

"Certain suspects immediately opened fire with automatic weapons," Eric Van der Sypt, a Belgian federal magistrate, said at a press conference Friday.

The shootout resulted in the deaths of two suspects and the arrest of a third. The gun battle was one of at least 10 anti-terror operations across Belgium.

Officials say terrorists wanted to carry out "major and imminent attacks." Police arrested more than a dozen people, including two in France.

"This operation was meant to dismantle a terror cell, not only the terrorist cell, but also the logistic network behind it,” Van der Sypt told reporters.

Security officials call the tiny country of Belgium another breeding ground for jihadists. More than 350 young men from there traveled to Syria to fight with terror groups there.

Now, as some return home, European leaders say the consequences are serious.

"It looks like yet another indication of the huge risk that we face from Islamist extremist terror in Europe," British Prime Minister David Cameron said.

Cameron meets with President Barack Obama at the White House Friday to discuss counter-terrorism.

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