The Daily Fix: Thwarted Belgium Terror Attack Planned to Target Police Forces
The suspected jihadist groups targeted by special forces in a major anti-terror raid Thursday night were planning to kill police officers in public and in police stations, state prosecutors told The Telegraph.
The attacks were “imminent.”
The raid resulted in two suspected terrorists being shot dead in Verviers, Belgium; 13 other suspects arrested; and two others arrested in France.
CNN International reports that the terror threat appears to have involved up to 20 sleeper cells of between 120 and 180 people ready to attack France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
“The investigation...has shown that these people had the intention to kill several policemen in the street and at police commissariats [police stations],” Belgian prosecutor Eric Van Der Sypt told BBC News. “The operation was meant to dismantle a terrorist cell...but also the logistics network behind it,” he said.
At the Belgium raid site, police recovered guns, munitions, and explosives, as well as police uniforms and large amounts of money.
Sypt said the investigation into the terror cells began prior to last week’s attacks in Paris that killed 17 people.
USA Today reports that anxiety is growing across Europe as authorities continue in the hunt to find potential accomplices of the three Paris terrorists, and try to prevent attacks by the thousands of European extremists who have joined Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq.
In other news…
BP’s Potential Oil Spill Fines Reduced by Billions: A federal judge ruled that BP will be held responsible for spilling 3.19 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. That means the company could face up to $14 billion in penalties for the company’s “gross negligence” that caused the spill. The potential fine amount is substantially lower than it could have been. If the government’s oil spill estimate of 5 million gallons had been used, the penalty could have been as much as $18 billion. (Via The New York Times)
Google Glass No More: Google has announced plans to stop producing its wearable technology in its present form and to cease sale of the product after Jan. 19. But Google isn’t giving up on the concept; a new version of Glass is set for release sometime in 2015. (Via Wall Street Journal)
Mormon Website Founder Threatened With Excommunication: Leaders of the Mormon church have moved to excommunicate John P. Dehlin, founder of the Mormon Stories website, which features podcasts critical of the church and supporting same-sex marriage. Dehlin’s disciplinary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 25. (Via The New York Times)
2014 Was the Hottest Year on Record: It’s official: Scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration agree that 2014 was the hottest year ever measured, based on records going back to 1880. (Via Washington Post)
John Kerry Wants to Give Paris a "Big Hug": Secretary of State John Kerry visited Paris Friday to offer condolences to the city in the wake of last week’s terror attacks. With him was singer-songwriter James Taylor, who played “You’ve Got a Friend” for a crowd gathered at the Hotel de Ville that included survivors, family members of victims, and members of the police and the government who responded to the attacks.
"I really wanted to come here and share a hug with all of Paris and all friends," Kerry told the crowd. (Via Yahoo! News)
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