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Belgium charges brother of knife attacker with terrorism



The Belgian federal prosecutor has charged with terrorism offences the brother of a man accused of recently stabbing two police officers in the capital Brussels.

The man, wielding a knife, stabbed the officers in Schaerbeek area in the north of Brussels on October 5 before being shot in the leg. The suspect, currently under custody, was identified as Hicham Diop.

The prosecutor said in a statement on Friday that Aboubaker D., Diop’s brother, was “charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist group.”

Aboubaker, a Belgian citizen in his thirties, was detained on Thursday.

The 43-year-old Diop is facing charges of “attempted murder in a terrorist context” and taking part in terrorist activities.

Police officers investigate the scene where a man stabbed two police officers in Schaerbeek neighborhood of Brussels, Belgium, October 5, 2016. (Photo by AP)

According to media reports, Diop was a kickboxing former soldier who had served until 2009. He also had ties to militants who had entered Syria to join operations against the Syrian government.

Brussels remain on high alert following attacks in March that killed 32 people. The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, which has many recruits from Belgium in its ranks, claimed the attacks, which were carried out in a metro station and at the city’s main airport.

Daesh also claimed a similar stabbing attack on a female police officer in the southern Belgian city of Charleroi in August.

Police have been engaged in a series of anti-terror raids to hunt down suspected militants across Belgium, especially after terror attacks last November in neighboring France, where 130 people were killed.

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