‘Plot to attack anti-Iran summit’ foiled

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An explosive device smuggled into an anti-Iran conference attended by Donald Trump’s lawyer was hidden in a make-up bag, police in Belgium have confirmed.

A husband and wife, as well as an Iranian diplomat, were arrested in connection with the alleged attempted bomb attack.

The apparent target was a meeting of an exiled Iranian opposition group being held in France, according to Belgian authorities.

Mr Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani was at the event, alongside other senior US dignitaries including ex-congress speaker Newt Gingrich and former FBI director Louis Freeh.

Four British MPs, including Theresa Villiers and David Amess, were also at the event, as well as other senior international politicians.

A 38-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman, identified only as Amir S and Nasimeh N, were arrested in Belgium on Saturday.

In a joint statement, Belgian prosecutors and intelligence services said the pair had 500g of homemade explosive TATP and a detonation device in their car.

The pair, who are both Belgian nationals of Iranian origin, have been charged with attempted terrorist murder and preparation of a terrorist act.

“Both are suspected of wanting to commit a bomb attack in Villepinte, France, on Saturday 30 June 2018 at a conference held there by the MEK, Les Moudjahidines du Peuple Iranien,” the statement said.

It continued: “The arrested couple were intercepted, in their Mercedes, by the special units of the police in Sint-Pieters-Woluwe.”

Two other arrests were made in France and Germany.

The person arrested in Germany was a diplomat at the Iranian embassy in the Austrian capital Vienna, the Belgian statement said.

Staff at the embassy said the ambassador was not immediately available for comment when approached by Reuters news agency.

The event, attended by about 25,000 people, was held by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which is based in Paris.

The group was previously listed as a terrorist organisation by the UK and US and opposes the Iranian regime.

Tehran has consistently called for a crackdown on the NCRI.

Following the arrests, Belgian authorities also conducted five raids across the country.

Commenting on the arrests, Mr Giuliani said the participants at the rally “appreciate and admire the fine work of law enforcement, particularly in Belgium and France”.



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