Post Paris attacks, ISIS had 'fresh' plans for France

Surprised by the progress in the Paris attacks probe, ISIS jihadists moved their France strike to Brussels instead

Brussels: The Brussels-based ISIS jihadists behind the Paris attacks planned a fresh strike in France but targeted the Belgian capital instead as police closed in, the federal prosecutor said yesterday.

Suicide bombers claimed 32 lives when they blew themselves up at Brussels airport and at a metro station on March 22. File picSuicide bombers claimed 32 lives when they blew themselves up at Brussels airport and at a metro station on March 22. File pic
Suicide bombers claimed 32 lives when they blew themselves up at Brussels airport and at a metro station on March 22. File picSuicide bombers claimed 32 lives when they blew themselves up at Brussels airport and at a metro station on March 22. File pic

“Numerous elements in the investigation have shown that the terrorist group initially had the intention to strike in France again,” the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement. “Surprised by the speed of the progress in the ongoing investigation, they urgently took the decision to strike in Brussels.” Suicide bombers claimed 32 lives when they blew themselves up at Brussels airport and at a metro station on March 22 but left a trail for police leading directly to the November Paris attacks.

The prosecutor gave no further details but the Brussels onslaught followed the March 18 arrest of top Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam. The prosecutor also gave no details of the planned attack in France, but late last month, French police arrested Reda Kriket near Paris, finding weapons and explosives in a flat he had used to suggest he was planning an attack of “extreme violence.”

Brussels attack: Abrini charged
Mohamed Abrini, who was already indicted over the Paris attacks, has been charged with “terrorist murders” in connection with the Brussels attacks, Belgium’s federal prosecutor said yesterday. Abrini has also been described as the “man in the hat” airport bomber.

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