Brussels cancels New Year fireworks over terrorism threats

  • Authorities in the capital city of Belgium announces the cancellation of New Year celebrations in Brussels
  • The cancellation is due to the possible terrorism acts that might occur during the celebration
  • Belgium is one of Europe’s leading  recruiting grounds for terrorists

Authorities in Brussels announced on Wednesday, December 30, 2015, that the New Year’s celebration in the capital city of Belgium will be cancelled.

In a report published by The Guardian on December 31, 2015, it was stated that the cancellation was due to the possible terrorism plot that might transpire, after two men were detained for allegedly planning attacks on “symbolic targets” across Brussels on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

However, the  two  arrested men  in the Belgian raids were not linked to the Paris attacks as disclosed by prosecutors.

They were identified as members of  a motorbike club called the Kamikaze Riders.

Giving the reason for the cancelled festivities in Belgium, The Guardian cited that Belgium has been one of Europe’s leading recruiting grounds for foreign jihadi fighters; wherein four of the Paris attackers on November 2015, came from the country including ring leader  Abdelhamid Abaaoud and fugitive Salah Abdeslam.

Moreover, at least nine people were arrested in Belgium during investigations; linking to the Paris attacks that was claimed to be done by ISIS.

Coinciding with Belgium’s announcement is an incident in Turkey which, reports say, covers a foiled attack plot which was supposed to have been done during the holidays in its capital city,  Ankara.

Apparently, Ankara police has detained two suspected Islamic State militants who were accused of planning suicide bombings during the new year celebrations in the capital city, as disclosed by the authorities.

This was supported by information from the office of the prosecutor of Ankara which says, “They were caught before they had the opportunity to take action.”

Adding to it the official said, “The men were detained in a raid on a house in the Mamak neighborhood, where police seized a suicide vest armed with a bomb, a second explosive device that was fortified with ball bearings and metal sticks and concealed inside a backpack, as well as bomb-making equipment.”

In a similar report published by BBC news, the  Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel defended its decision.

According to him, such actions had been taken “given information we have received”.

Given the number of the people who were present in the previous celebration, Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur also revealed that they cannot check everyone so a decision had to be made.