Belgian police on Tuesday arrested ten people in the Brussels area who are allegedly part of a network recruiting people to fight with the Islamic State group in Syria, prosecutors said.
Police took the ten suspects into custody while conducting raids in Molenbeek and others areas of the Belgian capital. Several of the terrorists involved in November’s deadly Paris attacks came from Molenbeek.
The federal prosecutor’s office denied, however, that the cell was in any way connected to the killings in Paris.
"The raids were carried out as part of an investigation into a recruitment network linked to the Islamic State. The investigation helped determine that several people had traveled to Syria to join Islamic State," the federal prosecutor’s office claimed in a statement.
The raids were carried out at the behest of a counter-terrorism judge in the eastern city of Liege, who will decide later in the day whether to continue holding them, the statement said.
As part of the operation, Belgian police conducted a total of nine raids, arresting the ten suspects and seizing cellular phones and computer equipment.
Belgium has produced more jihadist fighters, relative to its population, than any other country in Europe, with some 500 believed to have gone to fight in the Middle East.
AFP contributed to this report.