The New Year’s Eve fireworks display in Brussels is canceled due to an unspecified extremist attack threat, the Belgium capital’s mayor announced on Wednesday.
Authorities previously had announced that an investigation was underway into what authorities characterized as a “serious threat” of holiday season attacks directed at police, soldiers and popular attractions. Two suspects were arrested on Tuesday by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, and military-style training uniforms, computer equipment and propaganda materials from the Islamic State were seized.
On Thursday, the arrested men, whose names have not been made public, were due to go before a magistrate, who was due to decide whether to hold them for another month. An official close to the investigation, speaking on condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing, told The Associated Press both suspects belong to a motorcycle club, the Kamikaze Riders, which is known for illegal stunts on public roads.
“This is a group of youngsters from different — and that’s important to know — nationalities, and different beliefs,” Lahlali said. He said the club, founded in 2003, may have as many as 100 members — including bikers from Italy, Spain, Netherlands and Morocco as well as Belgium — but that it’s hard to know since they have no real organization, membership roll or leadership.