Antwerp Mayor Bart De Wever was a possible target of the “radicalized Muslim youths” who were arrested Monday by Belgian police.
“De Wever’s name was indeed mentioned in the Antwerp file as one target, among other targets,” Eric Van Der Sypt, spokesman for the Public Prosecutor’s Office, confirmed to POLITICO, “but it is not the case that there was already a day and an hour on which the attack was to take place. It wasn’t that concrete.”
On Monday evening Belgian police arrested a total of eight people around the country, most of them in their early 20s, with five of them arrested in the Antwerp area.
Seven of those arrested — described by the Public Prosecutor’s spokesman as “radicalized Muslim youths” — remain under arrest suspected of terrorist activities, according to information shared by the Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for De Wever, from the Flemish nationalist N-VA party, did not want to comment on the “ongoing judicial enquiry” given the “sensitive nature” of the issue.
The suspects’ court date is set for April 3.