The police officials say that, the two brothers, Khalid and Ibrahim El Bakraoui, who killed themselves in the train and airport attacks in Brussels, were linked to Paris bomb attacks, last year.
The two brothers are Belgian nationals with major convictions “not linked to terrorism”, federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said.
Khalid (27), who blew himself in Maalbeek metro station, is a convicted car-jacker and his brother Ibrahim (30), was one of the two suicide bombers at the airport. Reportedly, they had been handed a 9-year sentence for firing his gun at police, local media say.
On March 15th, the duo were eyed by public, when the police raided an apartment in the Forest district of Brussels, as part of the investigation into the Paris attacks.
Belgian media further reported that, as the apartment was rented under a false name and used by Khalid, to secure a hide-out months earlier for the Paris attackers, a joint squad of Belgian and French police approached over there.
The officials suspect that Khalid might have rented other properties, to prepare for Paris attacks, including one in the city of Charleroi from where ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud set off to lead the assault in Paris.
Both the brothers connection to IS Jihadism was established, however, they are not believed to have been present in those events.
IS jihadist Najim Laachraoui, reportedly is another one, suspected to be involved in Brussels attack. The man in light jacket, spotted in CCTV images, could be the same person, the reports say.
Traces of Laachraoui’s DNA were found on explosives used in the Paris bomb and gun assaults.
In June 2015, Turkish authorities detained and later deported one of the Brussels attackers, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday as a media report named him as Ibrahim El Bakraoui.
“One of the Brussels attackers was detained in Gaziantep and then deported”, Erdogan said.
However, Erdogan did not identify the person, but NTV television named him as Ibrahim El Bakraoui. Erdogan said Belgian authorities had failed to confirm the suspect’s links to terrorism “despite our warnings” following his deportation.
By Phani Ch