13:04 Apr. 10, 2016
Prosecutors say their investigations show members of a terror group that bombed the Belgian capital originally had another target
The bombers who attacked Brussels had intended to attack France again before switching their plans, prosecutors have said.
Police have been questioning Mohamed Abrini who was arrested on Friday and has admitted, they said, to being the 'man in the hat' filmed alongside two suicide bombers at Brussels airport.
Prosecutors have now released a statement detailing further developments in their investigation.
"The Investigating Judge specialised in terrorism cases has put Mohamed Abrini in detention in connection with the investigation into the Brussels and Zaventem attacks. He is charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist group, terrorist murders and attempts to commit terrorist murders. The Federal Prosecution Office can confirm that numerous elements in the investigation have shown that the terrorist group initially had the intention to strike in France again. Eventually, surprised by the speed of the progress in the ongoing investigation, they urgently took the decision to strike in Brussels", the statement says.
According to prosecutors on Saturday night (April 9), the terror suspect confessed he was the person pictured on CCTV in a light jacket walking next to the pair who detonated their devices shortly after.
He was pictured, they say, on 22 March in the departure hall with Ibrahim El Bakraoui and Najim Laachraoui before the pair blew themselves up, killing 16 people.
Prosecutors added that after leaving the airport, Abrini had thrown his jacket in a litter bin and later sold his hat.