The main Brussels, Belgium market place is deserted as anti immigrants and racists say ”
‘We don’t believe in candles and flowers’ and bring yet more violence to the peace vigil in Brussels.
Shaven-headed far-Right protesters and self-styled “hooligans” made Nazi salutes as they invaded a vigil for the Brussels bombing victims Sunday, as police rounded up more terrorist suspects.
Among those arrested was an Algerian who allegedly forged ID documents for both the Brussels attackers and those who struck in Paris in November.
Hundreds of people gathered solemnly in a Brussels square carpeted with flowers and candles in tribute to the victims of the airport and metro attacks last week. They ignored an official call for rallies to be postponed to allow police to concentrate on the hunt for those behind the attacks.
But they were forced to flee when hundreds of rowdy skinheads invaded Place de la Bourse, chanting neo-Nazi slogans that drowned out an opera singer’s moving rendition of Ave Maria. They picked on Arabs and Africans in the crowd, reducing a woman wearing a headscarf to tears, and pushing a dark-skinned youth, who was saved by the intervention of passers-by.
Within minutes, the square was emptied of mourners, leaving the skinheads and far-Rightists raising clenched fists as they confronted white-helmeted riot police, who eventually drove them away with water cannons. Ten of the protesters were arrested.
“We want answers from the government. There are too many fanatics in this country,” said one protester, who gave his name as Mario and said he was a “hooligan” from Ghent. “We don’t believe in candles and flowers.”
Charles Michel, the Belgian prime minister, said: “It is highly inappropriate that protesters have disrupted the peaceful reflection at the Bourse. I strongly condemn these disturbances. Yvan Mayeur, the mayor of Brussels, described the group as “scoundrels”.
Police in Brussels and Antwerp carried out 13 raids, detaining four people for questioning in operations coordinated with French authorities.
As the investigation widened to other countries, a suspected forger, Djamal Eddine Ouali, was detained by Italian counter-terrorism police in the southern town of Bellizzi, near Salerno.
The 40-year-old Algerian is suspected of providing a forged Belgian ID card for Najim Laachraoui, who blew himself up at Brussels airport and is also believed to have been the bomb-maker for the Paris attacks. Laachraoui went to Syria in 2013 and returned last year under an alias.
Belgian officials said all but four of the 28 people killed in the Brussels have been identified. Three attackers also died.
A second suspect was charged in Brussels in connection with a terrorist plot in France. The man, Abderahmane Ameroud, 45, also an Algerian, was dramatically arrested on Friday after being shot in the leg by police, who sealed off a city square because they feared his backpack contained explosives.
Both he and another man, named as Rabah N, who was charged on Saturday, are accused of involvement in a plan to launch a major attack in France. According to the French authorities, it was foiled at the last minute by the arrest last week in Paris of Reda Kriket, who had stockpiled explosives and weapons in a suburban apartment.
Dutch prosecutors say police have arrested a 32-year-old Frenchman among four people in the port city of Rotterdam at the request of French authorities who suspect them of “involvement in planning a terror attack”.
The National Post.