Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 19th 2015 Contents Greek police yesterday arrested several people over
alleged links to a suspected terror plot in Belgium.
One of the men is alleged to have been in contact
with the cell in Verviers, Belgium, where a shootout
with police left two suspects dead on Thursday.
However, Belgian officials late on Saturday said that
two of those detained in Athens were not among those
wanted over events in Belgium.
No link has been established between at least four
people arrested by Greek police and a cell broken up this
week in Belgium, the Belgian prosecutor's office said.
"There is no connection between these people and
the enquiry" in Belgium, Eric Van Der Sypt, spokesman
for the federal prosecutor's office, said on Sunday, refut-
ing reports that the two cases were linked.
A Greek police source said investigators had sent
DNA evidence and fingerprints to Belgium to establish
whether Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the 27-year-old sus-
pected mastermind of the Belgian cell, was among the
Belgian authorities said the group targeted in a police
raid on Thursday in the eastern town of Verviers, in
which two suspects were killed, was plotting to kill Bel-
gian police officers.
The federal prosecutor's office has refused to com-
ment on local media reports that Abaaoud, a Belgian
national of Moroccan origin, planned the foiled attacks
from Greece or Turkey.
The reports said he made calls from Greece to the
brother of one of the two suspects killed in the
shootout with police in Verviers.
According to Belgian media, Abaaoud spent time
fighting alongside the Islamic State of Iraq and the Lev-
ant (ISIL) group in Syria.
He was already known to security forces after ap-
pearing in an ISIL video, at the wheel of a car transport-
ing mutilated bodies to a mass grave.
He is also known as the older brother of a 13-year-old
boy dubbed Syria's youngest foreign fighter by British
media after photos surfaced of him posing with
Thirteen people were arrested across Belgium in con-
nection with the Verviers cell, five of whom were later
charged with "participating in the activities of a terrorist
The Belgium raid came a week after attacks in and
around Paris killed 17 people, rekindling fears in Europe
about the threat posed by young Europeans returning
home after fighting alongside armed groups in the Mid-
A Belgian para-commando patrols near the office of
the prime minister in Brussels, on January 17.
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A weeping 12-year-old Philippine girl,
asking how God could allow children to be-
come prostitutes, moved Pope Francis
yesterday to hug her and appeal for every-
one to show more compassion.
Glyzelle Palomar, a one-time homeless
child taken in by a church charity, made
her emotional plea during ceremonies at a
Catholic university in Manila, ahead of a
mass by the pope to millions of faithful.
"Many children are abandoned by their
parents. Many children get involved in
drugs and prostitution," Palomar told the
pope as she stood on stage alongside a
14-year-old boy who also used to be
"Why does God allow these things to
happen to us? The children are not guilty
Palomar broke down and wept pro-
fusely, prompting the 78-year-old pontiff
with a man-of-the-people reputation to
take her into his arms and hug her for a
Weeping Philippine girl challenges pope on prostitution
Brazil says it is "outraged" by the exe-
cution of one of its citizens in Indonesia
for drug trafficking.
Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira, 53, was
arrested in 2003 after police at Jakarta airport
found 13.4 kg of cocaine hidden in his hang
Brazil said he was the first Brazilian
national to be executed abroad and has
warned it will damage relations.
Five other convicts from Indonesia,
Malawi, Nigeria, Vietnam and the Nether-
lands, were executed yesterday.
Convicted of drugs charges, they faced a
firing squad in Central Java province shortly
after midnight local time.
Five were executed on the island of Nusa
Kambangan and the other one, a Vietnamese
woman, was executed in the small central
Javanese town of Boyolali.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said
in a statement that she was "outraged and
"Relations between the two countries
have been affected," said Rousseff.
"The Brazilian ambassador to Jakarta has
been recalled for consultations," she added.
The Netherlands had also recalled its
ambassador, after Foreign Minister Bert
Koenders called the execution of Dutch cit-
izen Ang Kiem Soe, 52, "an unacceptable
denial of human dignity and integrity".
Indonesia has some of the world s tough-
est drug laws. The country resumed exe-
cutions in 2013 after an unofficial four-year
The country s Attorney General Muham-
mad Prasetyo said "hopefully, this will have
a deterrent effect".
President Joko Widodo said that he will
show no mercy towards drug criminals
because they have ruined the lives of so
Rousseff had made a plea for clemency
on Friday, but it was rejected by Widodo.
She told her Indonesian counterpart that
she respected the sovereignty and judicial
system of his country but as a mother and
head of state she was making the appeal
for humanitarian reasons.
Widodo said he understood the Brazilian
president s concern but said he could not
commute the sentence as the full legal
process had been followed.
Human rights group Amnesty Interna-
tional urged the Indonesian government to
halt executions immediately, and eventually
abolish the death penalty.
Moreira said in a video recorded by a
friend that he regretted trying to smuggle
cocaine into Indonesia.
"I am aware that I committed a serious
offence, but I believe I deserve another
chance. Everyone makes mistakes."
A second Brazilian national, Rodrigo
Muxfeldt Gularte, remains on death row in
Indonesia, also convicted with drug traf-
Brazil abolished the death penalty in times
of peace when it became a republic in 1889.
Belgium rules out
Greek 'terror' link
The Catholic leader was visibly moved
by 12-year-old Glyzelle Palomar's
question in Manila.
Brazil 'outraged' by Indonesia
drug trafficking execution
Ambulances carrying the body of drug convicts
Brazilian national Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira,
left, and Dutch national Ang Kiem Soe leave upon
arrival from Nusakambangan island where their
executions were held, at Wijayapura port in Cilacap,
Central Java, Indonesia yesterday. AP PHOTO
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