Greece arrests four over foiled Belgium terror attacks

Police block Colline street in Verviers, Belgium, on January 15, 2015, after two people were reportedly killed during an anti-terrorist operation (AFP Photo/Marcel van Hoorn)

Athens (AFP) - At least four people were arrested in Athens on Saturday as part of a probe into a jihadist cell that was dismantled in Belgium this week before it could carry out any attacks, a Greek police source said.

Greece's anti-terror police were seeking to determine whether those arrested included Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the 27-year-old suspected mastermind of the cell who according to media reports may have been planning the foiled attacks from Greece.

The arrests took place in the Pangrati district of the Greek capital in the middle of the day, the source said. Several mobile phones were also seized.

European nations have arrested dozens of Islamist suspects in the wake of the Belgian anti-terror raids, during which two suspects were killed.

Belgium said the cell was planning to kill police officers.

Abaaoud, a Belgian of Moroccan descent, is a notorious jihadist who spent time in Syria. His alleged involvement comes at a time of heightened fears in Europe about the threat posed by young Europeans returning home after fighting alongside extremist groups in the Middle East.

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