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Sunday, April 10, 2016 

Belgian terror cell initially planned another attack in France

The terrorists who attacked in Belgium had first thought of committing another murderous attack in France, but changed plans as the hunt got nearer:
The March 22 Brussels terror attacks, which killed 32 people, followed a last-minute scramble by terrorists after the arrest of Salah Abdeslam four days earlier persuaded them to ditch plans for a fresh strike in France, Belgian authorities said Sunday.

Officials painted a picture of some chaotic preparations for the attack, as authorities closed in on some of the suspects, which included some rudimentary missteps by the terrorists.

In one case, said two officials with knowledge of the investigations, Khalid el-Bakraoui, the suicide bomber who killed 16 people at Maelbeek metro station, took the metro several stops in the wrong direction, had to switch platforms and then headed back to Maelbeek where he detonated his device.

That mistake cost the terrorists dearly, one of the officials said. Mr. Bakraoui was caught on camera at the P├ętillon metro station, where he crossed platforms, briefly talking to a man who police have since been searching for.

On Saturday, federal prosecutors said they had identified that man as Osama K, a Swedish-born suspect who had fought in Syria. They charged the man, who a U.S. official has said is Osama Krayem, with terrorist murders, saying he was the second attacker at the Maelbeek station.

[...] Belgian authorities issued a wanted notice in late November for Mr. Abrini. He was seen in a surveillance video with Paris suspect Mr. Abdeslam at a gas station north of the French capital two days before the attacks there. At the time, Mr. Abrini was driving one of the cars that was used two days later in the attacks.

Mr. Abrini was charged Saturday with being a lead member of a terror group and committing terrorist murders over the Paris attacks. On Sunday morning, authorities said he was now facing similar charges in the Brussels attacks.
The terrorists who were captured should all receive the death sentence. On which note, any European countries that abolished the death penalty should reinstate it.

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