belgium terror raid
Belgian forensic police inspect the entrance of an apartment in VerviersFrancois Lenoir/Reuters

Belgian police have detained four people following 22 raids in homes in the north east of the country, aiming to dismantle the recruitment of jihadist fighters heading to Syria.

No weapons or explosives were found by police during the raids, which took place in a region near to the Dutch border.

The raids are not being linked to an operation earlier this month in the eastern town of Verviers, in which two suspected terror suspects were killed and seven more jailed, and which was said to have avoided a major terrorist attack.

Federal prosecutors in the country are following up leads in the wake of the Paris atrocities. They said in a statement: "This file concerns people who want to go to Syria and fight there. The investigation concentrates on the organisation which recruits those persons and sends them to Syria."

The four suspects are due to appear in court today (Friday, 30 Jan), where a decision will be reached over whether they should still be held.

Around 350 Belgians have left for Syria in recent years to fight alongside Islamist extremists such as Islamic State. Belgium authorities fear that fighters could plan attacks on their return from the war zone.