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Belgium has requested Athens to extradite a captured jihadist

19 January 2015 / 12:01:52  GRReporter
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The Belgian police have requested the Greek authorities to extradite an Algerian citizen who was apprehended in Athens last Saturday because of suspicions that he was associated with the failed terrorist attack in Brussels.

The 33-year-old Algerian and three other men had been apprehended in the Athens neighbourhood of Pankrati by members of the Greek anti-terrorism service at the request of the Belgian authorities. In their opinion, the man is probably the head of the group of jihadists who were preparing the terrorist attacks in Brussels.

Earlier on Sunday, the Belgian authorities had informed their Greek colleagues that it was not necessary to detain the two captured persons but in the evening, they had requested the extradition of the 33-year-old Algerian.

The communication of the office of federal prosecutors in Belgium states, "An additional analysis of the investigation data has detected sufficient reasons to request the extradition of one of the persons who were arrested yesterday (Saturday – author’s note) by the Greek police as at least one of them is probably associated with the jihadist core".

At noon on Sunday and having examined all data provided by the Greek antiterrorist service, the Belgian authorities had sent to Athens a written statement indicating that their investigation to detect the members of the jihadist group had established no link of the person in question with it. For this reason, they indicated that there was no legal reason for his detention and he should be released.

The Greek anti-terrorist service released one of the arrested but detained the 33-year-old Algerian in order for it to carry out further questioning and to exhaust every probability of him being involved in a jihadist group.

At the same time, the authorities had requested to cancel the confidentiality of his telephone conversations to establish whether he had spoken with members of the jihadist group that was broken up in Belgium. The specific procedure, however, requires a lot of time and the detention of the Algerian cannot be extended so much.

When the Greek authorities were prepared to release him, the Belgian prosecutors investigating the case sent a request for the arrest and extradition of the 33-year-old man to Brussels.

Today the Algerian will face the prosecutor for questioning and a European arrest warrant will be issued on the basis of which the Greek authorities will satisfy the request for his extradition to Belgium.

At the same time, foreign ministers of the European Union member states will meet in Brussels to discuss the issues related to strengthening the cooperation between their intelligence services in the fight against terrorism.

Tags: Crime newsArrestsGreek policeDjihadistAlgerianBelgian policeExtradition
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