BOMBSHELL HORRIFIES EUROPE: Brussels bombers had also planned to hit France…AGAIN
The militant cell behind bombings in Brussels had been plotting to hit France again after carrying out the Paris attacks in November, but was forced to strike closer to home as police closed in, Belgian prosecutors said on Sunday.
Investigations into the Islamic State attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people, showed that many of the perpetrators lived in Belgium, including surviving suspects who managed to evade police for more than four months.
Prime suspect Salah Abdeslam was arrested on March 18 in the Belgian capital. Four days later, suicide bombers killed 32 people in Brussels airport and a rush-hour metro train.
“Numerous elements in the investigation have shown that the terrorist group initially had the intention to strike in France again,” Belgium’s federal prosecutor said in a statement.
“Surprised by the speed of progress in the investigation, they took the decision to strike in Brussels.”
Belgian intelligence and security forces had been criticised abroad for not doing more to dismantle the militant cell, because of its links to the Paris attacks.
As of Friday, all publicly identified suspects were either in detention or dead, but Belgium remains on its second highest threat
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