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Saturday, 22 September, 2001, 19:24 GMT 20:24 UK
Belgium swoops on 'bomb factory'
Brussels had been preparing for an EU security summit
Brussels had been preparing for an EU security summit
Belgian police taking part in the worldwide investigation following the US terror attacks have arrested two men and seized a huge store of chemicals in their Brussels flat.

Belgian media reported that the chemicals could have been used to make a bomb, and that a "terrorist" plot had been foiled.

The police raid, which was made on Thursday night but only revealed on Saturday, was linked by the Belgian prosecutor's office to the earlier arrest of two suspected Islamic militants.

Police found 100 kilograms of sulphur and 50 litres of acetone at the flat above a North African snack bar.

The two suspected Islamic militants arrested earlier, one of them a Tunisian, are being held on charges of criminal organisation and illegal weapon possession.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office said the chemicals found were "at face value, suspect" but it was too early to talk of a link to the attacks on the US.

Arrests across Europe

In Britain, three people are in custody in connection with the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.

The arrests were made in London and Birmingham.

A fourth man arrested in London has now been released without charge.

All four are being questioned under Britain's Terrorism Act.

London remains on the highest peacetime security alert in its history.

Other European countries are continuing their investigations into the hijackers responsible for the plane attacks, their possible associates and their sources of funding.

Seven people have been arrested in France. German police have arrested one man and issued photographs of two others wanted for questioning.

At least 50 people have been arrested by the FBI in the US in connection with the attacks.

On Friday evening federal prosecutors said they had charged a man with trying to fly into Chicago with an illegal passport and airline uniforms on the day of the hijacking attacks.

Thirty-three other people in the US have been charged with immigration violations. Department of Justice officials believe many of them may have information about the hijackings.

The BBC's Jane Warr
"Rarely have this many police patrolled the streets of Britain"
The BBC's Sean Brickell at Scotland Yard
"Investigations are ongoing"
See also:

21 Sep 01 | Americas
FBI probes hijackers' identities
21 Sep 01 | Europe
EU leaders back US retaliation
21 Sep 01 | Europe
Islamic 'plotters' held in France
18 Sep 01 | Europe
Europe tightens security
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