Attackers Responsible For Brussels Bombings Had Originally Planned to Hit France Again


The terrorists responsible for the suicide bombings that killed 32 in an airport and metro station in Brussels, Belgium had initially planned to strike France instead, prosecutors said, according to Reuters

Realizing that authorities were closing in, the militants implicated in the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris realized that they were running out of time to conduct their next attack in France as planned.

With their hand forced, the cell opted to strike the transit hubs in the Belgian capital instead. 

In the wake of the Paris attacks, authorities had begun investigations of a nest of terrorism hidden away in Belgium. Many have speculated that the resulting police raids and arrest of prime terror suspect Salah Abdeslam in the country prompted the March 22 attacks on the capital.

Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

"Surprised by the speed of progress in the investigation, they urgently took the decision to strike in Brussels," Belgium's federal prosecutor said.

The revelation was announced shortly after the Friday arrest of Mohamed Abrini, who confessed to being the "man with the hat" who walked into the Brussels airport beside two suicide bombers last month. He has been charged with "terrorist murders" for the March attack at Zavantem Airport.

With the arrest of Abrini, all of the suspects publicly announced by authorities are officially either in custody or dead.


Europe, however, remains on high alert. Belgium still lists its second-highest terror alert as being in effect. And during a news conference in Algiers, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that the country will continue to be vigilant about monitoring terrorist activity.

"This is a further sign of the very serious threat facing Europe as a whole and of course France in particular," Valls said.