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Two Brussels suspects charged

April 12, 2016

Belgian prosecutors have charged two men with terror-related offenses over suspected involvement in renting safe houses to Brussels attackers. Three more were arrested during a raid linked to Paris strikes.

Soldaten vor dem Sitz des Ministerpäsidenten von Belgien
Image: DW/A. Rönsberg

Two men, identified as Smail F. and Ibrahim F., were charged with terrorist offenses by Belgian prosecutors on Tuesday. Specifically, prosecutors said there were "indications" that the men were involved in renting an apartment in the Etterbeek district of Brussels which played a role in the attack on a subway station on March 22.

Prosecutors said that Smail F. was born in 1984 and Ibrahim F. in 1988.

The men are the latest to face charges in connection with the March 22 terror attacks in Brussels. Suicide bombers killed 32 people in attacks at the airport and a subway station in Brussels.

Reporter - Brussels after the Terror Attacks

Also on Tuesday, Belgian police detained three people after a house search in the Brussels' neighborhood of Uccle.

The raid was linked to an investigation into the Paris terror strikes, according to federal prosecutors.

"Three people were arrested and held for questioning," the officials said in a statement, without providing details.

A judge would decide whether the detainees should remain in custody after a hearing set for Wednesday.

Attackers returning from Syria

Officials have discovered several links between those responsible for the Brussels attack and the attacks that killed 130 people in Paris in November 2015.

The charges follow a string of arrests that have shed light on the links between an "Islamic State"-affiliated terror network believed to be behind both attacks. Several of the attackers are believed to have spent time in Syria with the extremist group, which has vowed further attacks in Europe.

Over the weekend, Belgium announced the arrest of Mohamed Abrini, who admitted to being the "man in the hat" seen on video accompanying the two suicide bombers Ibrahim el-Bakraoui and Najim Laachraoui at Brussels airport on March 22.

mz,dj/tj (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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