Authorities in Belgium, France, and Germany were holding some two dozen people on Friday believed to be linked to the Islamic State (ISIS). The police raids came a day after Belgian police killed two people in a firefight and arrested a third, disrupting what they said was an imminent terrorist attack just a week after the siege in Paris.
Two were taken in custody in France in connection with the Belgium plot.
Also 12 were being held by police in the Paris region and questioned about “possible logistical support,” such as weapons or vehicles, they may have lent to the three terrorists involved in the deadly attacks in Paris.
And in Germany, police raided 11 properties and arrested two men on Friday morning suspected of recruiting fighters for the Islamic State and providing financial support. Thirteen were detained in Belgium.
“They were on the verge of committing important terror attacks,” Belgium federal magistrate Eric Van der Sypt said at a news conference.
French police had told The Associated Press earlier that law enforcement was seeking as many as 10 potential accomplices to the French attack that left 17 people and three gunmen dead.
The police raids came as Secretary of State John Kerry met with French President Francois Hollande on Friday to visit the sites of last week’s terrorist attacks and pay tribute to the victims.
Hollande thanked Kerry for offering support saying, “You’ve been victims yourself of an exceptional terrorist attack on Sept. 11. You know what it means for a country… We must find together appropriate responses,” the Times reported.
Kerry had said he was visiting France to “share a big hug with Paris” and show American friendship with “the longest ally in our history.”
“The fight against terrorism must be international,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday, according to The Associated Press. “Everybody must act: France, Europe, and every country.”