If authorities were one step ahead of these guys, they could’ve stopped the whole thing. Hopefully now that they have some of these jihadists in their custody they can get to that level, with the information officials are receiving from them.
The attackers who struck Brussels on March 22 initially planned to launch a second assault on France, Belgium’s Federal Prosecution Office said Sunday.
But the perpetrators were “surprised by the speed of the progress in the ongoing investigation” and decided to rush an attack on Brussels instead, the office said in a statement. It didn’t provide any details on the initial plot or its targets and the office couldn’t immediately be reached for further comment.
Two suicide bombers killed 16 people at Brussels Airport on March 22. A subsequent explosion at Brussels’ Maelbeek subway station killed another 16 people the same morning. Investigators have found intimate links between the cell behind those attacks and the group that killed 130 people in Paris on Nov. 13.
Sunday’s statement provides confirmation of what many have suspected: the series of raids and arrests in the week leading up to the Brussels attacks — including the capture of key Paris attacks fugitive Salah Abdeslam — pushed the killers to action.
Belgian police detained four men in Brussels raids over the weekend who were charged with participating in “terrorist murders” and the “activities of a terrorist group” in relation to the Brussels attacks. One of them, Mohamed Abrini, has also been charged in relation to the Paris attacks, prosecutors said.