Belgium raises threat level for Brussels to highest possible level

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The threat level for the Belgian capital of Brussels has been raised to the highest possible level over a “severe and imminent threat” in connection with last week’s terror attacks in Paris, bringing life in the city to a near-standstill.

The interior ministry’s crisis center declined to provide specific details about the threat, which the prime minister said involved a possible plot by multiple people to carry out an attack. “The analysis shows a severe and imminent threat, which requires specific security measures,” the center said in a news release.

As part of the measures, the Belgian government is advising people in the Brussels area to avoid crowded places, which includes concerts, train stations, airports, public transportation, and busy shopping streets. It also asked the population to respect security checks and urged against the spread of rumors.

Soldiers were deployed across the capital city on Saturday, and many shops were closed and events canceled.

“To avoid endangering judicial investigations, further information can not be provided,” the crisis center said.

The measures apply to the entire Brussels region, which comprises 19 municipalities, including the capital city. All other regions of Belgium remain at level 3, the second-highest level.

Last week’s terror attacks in the heart of Paris were the deadliest attacks in France since the end of World War II, killing 130 people, and the deadliest in the European Union since bombs killed 191 people on trains in Madrid.

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