How are the Brussels attackers linked to Paris?

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Khalid El-Bakraoui

died in Brussels metro attack

Belgian, aged 27

Khalid El-Bakraoui was responsible for the deadly explosion at Maelbeek metro station, according to the Belgian public prosecutor.

Police were also aware of El-Bakraoui’s terrorist links.

He is suspected of renting (under a false name) the apartment at 60, rue de Dries in the Belgian town of Forest where Belgian and French police carried out an anti-terror raid on March 15. Mohamed Belkaïd, believed to be one of the co-ordinators of the November 13 Paris attacks, died in the gunfight. Police also found prints belonging to Salah Abdeslam, the sole surviving participant in the Paris attacks, in the house.

El-Bakraoui is also suspected of renting (under a false name) the house in the Belgian town of Charleroi where Abdeslam and Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged ringleader of the Paris attacks, stayed before driving to France.

El-Bakraoui and his brother, Ibrahim El-Bakraoui, had a long history of run-ins with the law and were known to be involved in organised crime. He was sentenced to five years in prison in 2011 for car robbery, according to local media, but it is not clear if he served time or when he left prison.

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Ibrahim El-Bakraoui

died in Brussels airport attack

Belgian, aged 29

Ibrahim El-Bakraoui was confirmed as one of the suicide bombers at Brussels Airport on March 22.

He is said to have left behind a will containing the phrase “I don't know what to do, hunted everywhere, no longer safe.”

El-Bakraoui and his brother, Khalid El-Bakraoui, had a long history of run-ins with the law and were known to be involved in organised crime. He was sentenced to nine years in prison for shooting at policemen with a Kalashnikov during a robbery in 2010, according to Belgian newspaper "La Dernière Heure". However, it is not clear if he served time or when he left prison.

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Najim Laachraoui

(alias Soufiane Kayal),
Died in airport attack

Belgian, aged 24

Laachraoui was identified by prosecutors as the second bomber at the Brussels airport. He was suspected of being one of the explosive experts behind the Paris attacks after his DNA was found on the explosive belts used in the attack on the Bataclan concert hall and at the Stade de France.

Laachraoui also used a false name to rent a home in the town of Auvelais, southern Belgium, which was used by the jihadists to prepare the attacks. He is thought to have been in phone contact with the jihadists on the night of the attacks.

Laachraoui went to Syria in February 2013. On September 19, 2015, he gave the alias “Soufiane Kayal” when he was stopped at the Austria-Hungary border with Salah Abdeslam and Mohamed Belkaïd.

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Salah Abdeslam

In custody after the March 18 Molenbeek raid

French, aged 26

The 126-day manhunt for Salah Abdeslam came to an end during a raid in Molenbeek, Belgium on March 18. His arrest prompted conspirators to push forward the attack in Brussels, which they carried out four days later.

Abdeslam is one of the surviving participants of the Paris attacks, along with Mohamed Abrini dubbed the ‘Man in the hat’. Belgian authorities are also questioning Abdeslam about the Brussels attacks.

Abdeslam was a co-ordinator in the November 13 attacks on Paris. He rented the cars used by the jihadists, paid for the hotel rooms where the suicide belts were put together and dropped off the bombers at the Stade de France. After his arrest, Abdeslam told investigators that he was supposed to carry out an attack himself but backed out at the last minute. He dumped an explosives belt in a southern Paris suburb before calling two friends who came to pick him up and drive him back to Brussels.

He hid out for the next four months. Police found his fingerprints after the raid on an apartment in Forest, which led them to the raid in Molenbeek. Now in custody in Belgium, France issued a warrant for his extradition.

Before his career as a jihadist, Abdeslam had a long history of petty crimes. The bar he ran with his brother was shut down by Belgian authorities because of suspected drug-dealing on the premises. Recognised as a radical by Belgian police, he had already been questioned in February 2015.

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Mohamed Belkaïd

(alias Samir Bouzid),
died in Forest raid

Algerian, aged 35

Belkaïd was killed in a shootout with police during a Belgian and French police raid on an apartment on rue de Dries in Forest, Belgium on March 15. At that point, he was not known to authorities investigating the November 13 Paris raids, except under his alias, Samir Bouzid.

Belkaïd is believed to have been one of the co-ordinators of the Paris attacks. He is thought to have been in telephone contact with the terrorists the night of the attacks (it was likely either Belkaïd or Laachraoui who received the text message from the Bataclan saying, in French, “It’s begun… we’re starting”).

The alleged mastermind of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was sheltered by his cousin, Hasna Aït Boulahcen, in the days after the attacks. Belkaïd was identified through his phone contact with Boulahcen; he also wired her money. Both Boulahcen and Abaaoud died in a police raid in the northern Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis on November 18.

In September 2015, Belkaïd went with Salah Abdeslam to pick up Najim Laachraoui in Hungary after the latter returned from Syria.

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Amine Choukri

(alias Moni Ahmed Alaaj),
In custody after the March 18 Molenbeek raid

Amine Choukri or Monir Ahmed Alaaj, both false identities, was arrested alongside Saleh Abdeslam in Molenbeek on March 18 and also charged with terrorist murders.

Belgian Investigators have told local media they believe Choukri, Belkaid and Abdeslam planned Paris-style shooting attacks at the same time as the Brussels bombings.

Choukri was checked by German police near Ulm in a car with Abdeslam and Krayem in October.

He is thought to have entered Europe from Syria via Greece.

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Mohamed Abrini

‘Man in the hat’ at Brussels Airport

After being on the run for four months, Mohamed Abrini was finally arrested on April 8 after being identified as the ‘Man in the hat’ spotted on CCTV footage at Brussels Airport.

Abrini, who is of Moroccan origin, confessed to Belgian investigators that he planted a bomb at the airport.

He was seen alongside Ibrahim El-Bakraoui and Najim Laachraoui the two suicide bombers who died in the March 22 airport attack.

It emerged that Abrini took several trips to Birmingham where British police believe he met with men suspected of terrorist activity and took photographs of a football stadium.

Belgian authorities have said Abrini is also wanted in connection with the November 13 attacks on Paris.

He was seen on video footage just two days before the Paris attacks with then would-be suicide bomber Salah Abdeslam, a childhood friend.

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Osama Krayem

Seen with Brussels metro bomber and suspected of buying bags to hide bombs

Swedish, aged 23

Osama Krayem, a fugitive who used a false Syrian passport under the name Naim Al Ahmed or Al Hamed, was arrested in Brussels on April 8.

Charged with terrorist murder, he is said to be cooperating with Belgian investigators.

Krayem, who admitted to joining the IS group, is accused of accompanying Brussels metro bomber Khalid El-Bakraoui minutes before he blew himself up. He is believed to have bought the bags used to hide the Brussels bombs.

Police are still looking for a bag Krayem was carrying that may have contained a bomb.

Krayem together with Salah Abdeslam and Amine Choukri were stopped by German police in Ulm in October. A month earlier, he and Choukri returned from Syria to Europe on a boat bringing refugees to Greece.

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Bilal El Makhoukhi

A jihadist who fought in Syria and assisted in Brussels attacks

Belgian, aged 27

Bilal El Makhoukhi was arrested on April 8 and charged with participation in a terrorist group and terrorist murders. He is suspected of assisting Mohamed Abrini and Osama Krayem.

He was convicted in January 2015 for being involved in Sharia4Belgium, a now disbanded organisation that recruited people to go fight alongside jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq.

Originally sentenced to five years in prison, with three years suspended, he was allowed to serve his remaining term at home under electronic monitoring and was released in March.

El Makhoukhi had to have his leg amputated after he returned wounded from fighting in Syria.

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Hervé B.M.>

Suspected of helping Brussels attackers Abrini and Krayem

Rwandan, aged 26

Little is known about Herve B.M.. He was arrested on April 8 and charged with taking part in a terrorist group and of terrorist murders together with Osama Krayem. He is suspected of aiding Krayem and Abrini in connection with the Brussels attacks.

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Smail F. and Ibrahim F.

Linked to safe house used to plan Brussels attacks

Belgian nationals Smail F., 31, and Ibrahim F., 35

Both men were charged on April 11 with taking part in a terrorist organisation. They are linked to the rental of a property in the Brussels district of Etterbeek which was thought to have been used as a safe house in the lead up to the Brussels bombings.