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Anti-terrorism raid in Verviers frees Spanish minor held by alleged jihadist

Police raid - Belga
10:52 26/07/2022

In a counter-terrorism operation, Spanish and Belgian police arrested a Verviers man after freeing a 16-year-old Spanish girl.

The information was communicated by Spain’s Guardia Civil and confirmed by the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office, reports L’Avenir.

The teenager left the family home in Spain for Belgium on 2 July after being seduced by a 34-year-old Verviers man. She made the trip in the company of people belonging to an alleged Belgium-based terrorist recruitment structure.

"Following her disappearance and on the basis of evidence of possible radicalisation, the Guardia Civil, in collaboration with the public prosecutor's office and the central juvenile court, attempted to locate the minor in the event of her transfer to a terrorist organisation," said the Guardia Civil.

The teenager was also the subject of a European and international arrest warrant issued by the national juvenile court. The exact location of the raid in Verviers, in the province of Liège on 15 July, has not been revealed.

"She was not mistreated but she was in conditions not suitable for a young woman of her age," explained the federal prosecutor's office. The man was placed under arrest warrant for participation in the activities of a terrorist group. He appeared in court late last week, where his detention was extended for one month.

The minor is currently in an institution run by Liège child social services. She’s expected to return shortly to Spain.

Photo: Generic image of police raid © Belga/Laurie Dieffembacq

Written by The Bulletin