Police Announce Breakthroughs in Fight against Terrorism
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ Officials said Tuesday that police have uncovered a major hide-out of Belgium’s main terrorist group and arrested the bomb expert of another extremist gang.
Andre Van Doren, a state prosecutor, reported police found 13 pounds of dynamite, a pistol, files and propaganda material of the Fighting Communist Cells in a Brussels apartment on Jan. 16.
He refused to comment on reports that the documents showed the gang planned to assassinate prominent businessmen and leaders including Justice Minister Jean Gol.
In another breakthrough, also last Thursday, police arrested Luc Van Acker, 24, who Van Dorn said was the bomb specialist of the Revolutionary Front for Proletarian Action. That group claimed responsibility for two bomb attacks in April 1985.
″Van Acker has made statements,″ Van Doren said, but declined to elaborate.
He said he expected more anti-terrorist raids by police in ″the following days and weeks.″
Newspapers speculated on a possible link between the latest police achievements and the arrests last month of Pierre Carette, suspected leader of the Fighting Communist Cells, and three accomplices.
The group, known by its French initials as CCC, asserted responsibility for 21 bombings since October 1984, but only one resulted in death. Two firemen were killed when a bomb went off in a car that had been set ablaze in front of the Employer’s Federation office.
Several newspapers, quoting unidentified officials, said last week’s raid revealed that the CCC also planned to bomb police headquarters in Brussels and other cities. Among the group’s previous targets were defense contractors’ offices, installations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, banks and the headquarters of political parties.
Van Doren showed reporters the CCC cache that included bomb-making equipment, a pistol, ammunition, military maps, press clippings, a Belgian ″Who’s Who″ and other documents.
The newspaper reports said police had watched the apartment for several weeks, hoping to catch more CCC activists, and they moved in after the lack of activity convinced officials that the main terrorists were behind bars. Van Doren would not comment on those reports.
Gol said last month after the arrests of Carette and the three other men that he believed ″the people who have played an important role in the CCC are in prison.″
The suspects were charged with conspiracy, possesion of illegal arms, forgery and carrying false identity papers.