Brussels will remain on high alert until next Monday after the Belgian government said there was still a serious risk of a terrorist attack in the city.
“We haven’t taken these measures with a light heart,” Michel said, adding that he would not give more details on the investigation for security reasons.
The prime minister said additional security measures would be taken in the coming days, including reinforcement of police and military forces in Brussels and elsewhere in Belgium.
Michel said the decision to keep the alert in place had been made after another assessment by OCAM, “an independent body composed of intelligence services and experts.”
He said the group concluded that “the threat level is ‘serious and imminent. So you can understand that I will not argue against their decision and in doing so endanger the population.”
Asked by a journalist at the press conference whether the continued state of high alert gave the impression that the government had lost control of the country’s security, Michel repeated: “We have evidence that the risk of an attack is serious and imminent.”
Just before the announcement, Belgian law enforcement officials said a police sweep of houses in Brussels and elsewhere had resulted in one person being charged with participating in terrorist activities in connection with the November 13 Paris attacks.
The federal prosecutor’s office said a total of 21 people had been detained in police operations since Sunday night and had been “questioned by police”; 17 of those people had been released and that the rest were being held for further questioning.