Belgian authorities raided several houses across the country and arrested seven men wanted by Morocco for terrorist offenses. The actions were in response to an international warrant issued for 14 people related to the case of Abdelkader Belliraj.
Belliraj is a Belgian of Moroccan origin who is accused of carrying out a series of assassinations in Belgium in the 1980’s. The arrestees – four Belgian Moroccans, two Moroccans, and one Algerian face possible extradition to Morocco.
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Abdelkader Belliraj, the Moroccan-Belgian currently being held in Morocco on suspicion of leading a terrorist cell, helped the Belgian Security Service to prevent an attack in another, unnamed European country. As details come out, it appears that Belliraj lead a double life – having terrorism links, but also was a golden tip giver for Bellgian intelligence. Belliraj is credited with providing crucial information. It is not believed that his time in active political-terrorist activities and informant assistance were synchronic; however, information is still unfolding in this case.
A delegation of American CIA and FBI agents were in Morocco to examine the terrorist network of Belgian-Moroccan terrorist and informant Abdelkader Belliraj. US interest in Belliraj is based on a connection between him and al-Qaeda and Hezbollah. Meanwhile, the Belgian police delegation has returned from Morocco and convinced of Belliraj’s significance in the network, and may be responsible for more incidents of terrorism than initially presumed. Alain Winans, the head of the Belgian Intelligence Service, which has received criticism in its handling of terrorism cases, denied that he should have made it known that Belliraj was an informant. The Belgian parliament will soon decide whether or not the intelligence service will gain additional power to help improve the agency’s reputation.
Abdelkader Belliraj, the alleged leader of a Moroccan extremist group and suspect of several murders in Belgium, was revealed to be a paid informant for the Belgian security services. Belliraj was revealed to be an informant for Belgian authorities, for up to eight years; Belgian authorities were apparently unaware of his other activities during his time as an informant. While a spokesman for Belgium’s justice ministry refused to confirm or deny the reports, the ministry said a statement may be released concerning the news.
A Belgian of Moroccan origin was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of heading a terrorist organization. According the Moroccan Minister of Internal Affairs, Abdelkader Belliraj had also committed six murders in Belgium between 1986 and 1989, including the former rector of a Brussels mosque and the chairman of a coordination committee of Jewish groups. Belliraj, also known by the aliases of Ilyass and Abdelkrim. Belliraj is believed to have connections to Al Qaeda and local terror groups. In Morocco, the network had plotted to assassinate cabinet ministers, army officers, and members of the small Jewish community in the country.