Anti-terror police arrest 11 men in raids across three countries

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Eleven men have been detained in an anti-terror sweep in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

Those arrested were suspected of planning an attack in Belgium while others were suspected of involvement in recruiting for a Chechen terror organisation, the Belgian prosecutor's office said. Seven were detained in Belgium's port city of Antwerp, three in Amsterdam and one near the German city of Aachen. The arrests were not linked to the recent reports of possible terrorist attacks in Germany, said Judith Sluiter, a spokeswoman for the Dutch National Co-ordinator for Counter-terrorism.

Ten homes were searched in the three nations yesterday morning, and 11 suspects of Belgian, Dutch, Moroccan or Russian nationality were detained, all men in their 20s or 30s, said Leen Nuyts, spokeswoman for the Belgian prosecutor's office. Initially there were indications that one woman was among them.

They follow arrests in Spain, Morocco and Saudi Arabia, related to the same investigation, earlier this year.

The Belgian prosecutors said "there was talk of plans for an attack in Belgium by an international jihadist organisation" that uses the website Ansar al-Mujahideen. The place of the alleged attack had not been specified.