Some reports have claimed that the people arrested were planning to attack in a common area where thousands of Belgians had gathered to watch live broadcasts of Belgium’s football game against Ireland in the Euros held in France this weekend.
However, a spokesman for Belgium Federal Prosecutor’s Office has said there was no absolute proof that soccer fans were the target.
No arms or explosives were found during the raids across 16 municipalities, but investigators had determined there was a need for “immediate intervention."
Forty people were taken in for questioning with initially 12 arrested on suspicion of planning new terror attacks, said the Belgium Federal Prosecutor’s Office in a statement.
Three Belgian nationals were eventually charged "as perpetrator or co-perpetrator, for having attempted to commit a terrorist murder and for participation in the activities of a terrorist group," and the other nine people arrested were let go.
Twelve people suspected of planning fresh terror attacks arrested in Brussels as part of a major police operation https://t.co/u8N4ysQYmi— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 18, 2016
An earlier statement said: “In the interest of the investigation, currently no further details can be given.”
NBC News reports that Belgium is currently under a “level three” terror alert following the March 22 attacks on the Brussels subway and airport in which 32 people were killed. Level three is the second highest terror level implying an attack “is possible and likely.” the maximum level indicates that the treat of attack is imminent.
On Saturday, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said the terror level would remain where it was and said the situation was "under control."
"We want to continue to live normally, we are living normally," he said at a news conference. "We call on everyone to show calm and serenity."
He said that the authorities are monitoring the developments and are being "extremely vigilant.”