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Crime

Belgium charges two for aiding jihadis

Belgian prosecutors have charged a man and a woman with providing fake papers to jihadis involved in Paris and Brussels attacks. The two were detained in a house raid, officials said.

The man is also suspected of participating in activities of a terrorist group, authorities said on Thursday.

Belgian officials identified the pair as Meryem E. B. and Farid K., linking them with the terror cell involved in the terror attacks in Paris and Brussels, and specifically with suicide bomber and attack planner Khalid El Bakraoui.

"They are suspected of having provided Khalid El Bakraoui with the false documents later used in preparation for the Paris attacks," prosecutors said in a statement.

Brüssel Terroranschläge Fahndung Verdächtige Brüder El Bakraoui (picture-alliance/dpa/Interpol)

Khalid (L) and his brother Brahim El Bakraoui (R) blew themselves up on the same day in Brussels, with Brahim targeting the airport and Khalid attacking the subway

Fake identity

The police detained the pair during a house search on Wednesday. While Farid K. remains in custody, the woman, Meryem E. B. was released under "strict" conditions, they added.

El Bakraoui blew himself up in an attack on a Brussels metro station in March 2016. The officials believe he was also one of the masterminds behind the Paris attacks several months earlier. He allegedly used false names and a fake identity card to rent apartments in Brussels and in the southern Belgian city of Charleroi, which served as a base for the Paris attackers.

Some 20 people have already been charged in Belgium over the November 2015 massacre in Paris.

dj/msh (Reuters, dpa, AFP)

 

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