Brussels canceled its traditional annual year-end celebrations including a fireworks display and other events on Wednesday due to the threat of a New Year’s terror plot, the Netherlands news agency BMO News reported.
The mayor of the Belgian capital, Yvan Mayeur, took the decision after discussions with federal security authorities.
The announcement comes days after authorities arrested two people in Belgium for suspected involvement in a plan to attack crowded “emblematic sites” in Brussels during New Year’s festivities, CNN reported. Both suspects are members of the Kamikaze Riders, a biker gang accused of having radical Islamic sympathies.
A Belgian soldier patrols on Brussels' Grand Place, Dec. 30, 2015. I Photo: Reuters
It also comes less than a week after the ninth suspect involved in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that killed more than 130 people was arrested in Brussels. Prosecutors said the unnamed suspect had links to the principal masterminds behind the attacks.
International intelligence units have also warned European countries be on alert for a potential terror attack to hit during the holiday season.
Security officials said that the New Year’s terror plot seems to have been inspired but not directly organized by the so-called Islamic State group, CNN reported.
It is unclear if the New Year’s terror plot in Brussels has any connection to the Paris attacks.