Belgian police authorities claimed to have found explosive material –such as acetone peroxide and handmade belts– in an apartment in Brussels during a raid in December. The apartment was also rented under a false name, and a fingerprint of one of the major suspects of the Paris attacks was found there.
According to the Belgian newspaper De Standaard, the investigators believed these explosives were put into suicide belts in a hotel outside Paris, the day the attacks were made. However, they believe the apartment, in the district of Schaerbeek, was rented by a person who already is in custody, linked to the attacks. The information confirms the theory that a part of the Paris attacks of the Nov. 13th were planned in Belgium.
Authorities also announced that they found a fingerprint of Salah Abdeslam, brother of one of the attackers, who came back to Belgium the day after the attacks and has been on the run since then. According to the police, several of the 10 people arrested in Belgium are linked to Abdeslam –including the two man who drove him from Brussels to Paris and back to Schaerbeek.
Apparently, Abdeslam used the apartment as a safe house after the attacks. Authorities believe this due to signs that indicate that the flat have been cleaned up before they left, although they can’t now for sure how long they stayed there.
According to the Belgian media, the investigators are lead to believe that two of the men involved in the Paris attacks set it up by sending a series of SMS text messages from Belgium.
François Molins, the Paris prosecutor, said that it was “obvious” that these attacks were planned from abroad, as he believes that not only Syrians were involved but also people filled with fanaticism, and highly trained, according to the New York Times.
Help was asked to the public so authorities could identify and find both men who aid Abdeslam by travelling with him to Hungary past September –using fake ID’s showing the names of ‘Samir Bouzid’ and ‘Soufiane Kayal’. Photos of both fugitives remain on the federal police’s website, who are believed to have played an important role on the logistics of the attack.
Frederic Van Leeuw, Belgian federal prosecutor, said in an interview on VTW that the Jan. 15 anniversary of a foiled attack on their soil maybe could be the day of another attack on Belgium.
“We know that they opt for symbolic dates although on the other hand no one knows why Charlie Hebdo took place on Jan. 7,” he said, according to Reuters.