Brussels remains on highest terror alert as manhunt for suspects continues

By Andrew V. Pestano

BRUSSELS, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Belgium's capital city of Brussels remains on its highest alert on Sunday as a manhunt for several suspects continues amid fears of a potential attack.

Interior Minister Jan Jambon said the current threat against Brussels is a greater risk than that posed by Salah Abdeslam, a prime suspect in the Islamic State Paris attacks reportedly on the loose in Belgium. More than one other potential militant is at large in the city.


Brussels was a base of operations for the Islamic State militants who carried out coordinated attacks in Paris earlier this month. At least 130 people died.

Abdeslam, 26, is being sought in a high-profile manhunt. He is a French citizen living in Brussels who police describe as armed and dangerous. Several of Abdeslam's friends in Brussels said he possibly may be traveling to Syria.

Jambon told Flemish broadcaster VRT that the "terror threat in Belgium would not be over once Salah Abdeslam is out of harm's way," adding "the threat is broader than the one suspected terrorist."

Brussels' subway services have been suspended and the government has warned citizens to avoid gatherings.


The U.S. embassy warned Americans in Belgium to stay inside and the U.S. European Command issued a 72-hour restriction on travel to Brussels by military personnel and contractors.

Belgium raised the terror alert on Saturday in Brussels to the highest level due to a "serious and imminent threat." Prime Minister Charles Michel said the Belgian capital is under threat of attacks similar to those inflicted upon Paris.

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