09262017Headline:

Belgium charges man over Paris terror attacks

A man who was arrested during a raid in Belgium on Sunday has been charged with terrorism offenses in connection with this month’s deadly attacks in Paris, the federal prosecutor’s office says.

The man, whose name was not made public, was one of the 16 people who were arrested in raids in Brussels and Charleroi on late Sunday. Details about the exact nature of his alleged links to the Paris attacks were not immediately disclosed.

“The Federal Prosecutor’s Office can inform you that today the investigating judge, specialized in terrorism cases, placed into custody a man arrested during the operations last night,” the office said in a statement. “He is charged with participating to activities of a terrorist group and with terrorist attack (Paris).”

The other 15 people detained during Sunday’s raids were released without charges by the investigating judge. Two of the five people who were arrested in new raids earlier on Monday have also been released without charge. The remaining three remain in custody pending a decision from the judge.

Other details were not provided, but the office said numerous arrests are to be expected during large-scale operations. “It is not uncommon, during large-scale search operations like the one last night, to bring in several people merely for thorough questioning or to clarify why they were found on the search premises,” it said.

The office added: “The results of the operations of yesterday and this morning are put together with the already available investigatory elements. The investigation continues.”

Earlier on Monday, the prosecutor’s office said it had found approximately €26,000 ($27,630) in cash during one of the raids on Sunday night. Various objects were also seized and are currently being investigated.

The office also responded to a newspaper report that claimed that Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam had been sighted in a BMW near the city of Liège before escaping on a highway towards the German border. The office confirmed that a BMW escaped from police near Liège, but said there was no link to the terrorism investigations.

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