From Daily Mail
Two brothers who blew themselves up in Brussels were able to evade security services despite being notorious gangland criminals and placed on a worldwide terror watch list, it emerged today.
Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui were today named as two of the ISIS suicide bombers who rocked the Belgian capital yesterday, killing 34 people and wounding more than 270 others.
Their involvement provides for the first time a direct link between the Brussels attacks and the Paris massacre that killed 130 people in November.
It has since emerged that they each have extensive criminal records and were both jailed for shocking crimes involving Kalashnikov machine guns.
Ibrahim was also arrested in Turkey last summer and deported to Holland before being passed back over to Belgium despite warnings that he was a militant.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the suicide bomber was arrested in Gaziantep in southern Turkey close to the Syrian border last summer but deported after Belgian authorities failed to confirm the suspect’s links to terrorism ‘despite our warnings that he was a foreign fighter’.
Khalid was also listed on an Interpol ‘red notice’ – an alert to police forces around the world saying that he was wanted in Belgium on terrorism charges.
Yet they were still allowed to play a major role for ISIS before martyring themselves by providing ammunition and renting out safe houses where the Brussels and Paris attacks were plotted.
Khalid, 27, was jailed for five years in 2011 for possessing AK-47 machine guns and committing a series of car-jackings.
Excerpts from the Interpol notice says he spoke French and Arabic and had dual Belgian and Bahamian nationality.
He has been wanted since last August.
Ibrahim blew himself up in the check-in hall of Brussels Zaventem Airport while Khalid attacked a metro train at Maalbeek station near the EU headquarters, prosecutors said today.
Ibrahim, 30, was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2010 for shooting at police with a Kalashnikov during a robbery.
There does not appear to be a red notice posted on the Interpol website for his brother, Ibrahim, but he has been on the run since breaching his parole terms last year.
Their use of Kalashnikovs, a signature weapon for ISIS and other extremist groups, will raise questions about why they were not monitored more closely by intelligence services.
The revelations are the latest in a series of failures by security chiefs who face damaging questions about why the siblings and other members of the ISIS cell were able to slip through the net.
The safe house rented by the El Bakraoui brothers in the Brussels district of Molenbeek where Paris and Brussels logistics chief Salah Abdeslam was arrested in a police raid last Friday after four months on the run
Investigation: Forensic teams comb another safe house used by the El Bakraoui brothers and Paris bomb maker Najim Laachraoui to plot the string of terror attacks that killed 34 people in Brussels on Tuesday. They found a suicide note from Ibrahim along with chemicals including 150l of acetone, 30l of liquid oxygen, detonators, a suitcase full of nails and other bomb equipment including plastic trays, tools and ventilator
At some point after leaving prison, Khalid linked up with the terror cell behind the Paris attacks and used a false name to rent a property in the Belgian city of Charleroi as a hideout.
In the hours before the November massacre, logistics chief Salah Abdeslam and his brother Brahim are believed to have stopped at the apartment to pick up weapons before going on to unleash hell in the French capital.
Khalid later rented out a flat, also under an alias, in the Brussels suburb of Forest which was stormed last week by police hunting Salah Abdeslam.
Khalid and his brother, Ibrahim, are believed to have escaped during a shoot-out with police in which another militant, Mohamed Belkaid, was killed.
Continuing to act with impunity, the brothers are also understood to have rented out a flat in the suburb of Schaerbeek where they made final preparations before storming the airport and Metro.
First picture: Belgian bomber Ibrahim El Bakraoui (centre) and explosives expert Najim Laachraou (left), both wearing black gloves to hide their suicide bomb triggers, killed 14 at Brussels airport. Their accomplice – the ‘Man in White’ – (right) walked out of the airport after leaving a suitcase bomb that never went off
Today, prosecutors said Ibrahim left a suicide note at that apartment, telling how he was desperate to blow himself up because he did not want to go to prison like his friend, Salah Abdeslam.
Federal prosecutor Frederic Van LeeuwVan Leeuw said Bakraoui’s ‘will’ said he was ‘in a rush’, and added: ‘I don’t know what to do… hunted everywhere… no longer safe.’
He said: ‘I don’t want to end up in a cell next to him.’
That appeared to be a reference to Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam, who is reportedly linked to Bakraoui, and who is in custody in Belgium after being captured last week.
The computer on which Ibrahim wrote the will was dumped in a trash can in the same street in the Brussels district of Schaarbeek where investigators found an unexploded bomb, an Islamic State group flag and bomb-making materials on Tuesday night.
Web of terror: MailOnline can reveal how an ISIS terror network from across Brussels first took murder to the streets of Paris killing 130 before members of the cell who survived returned to the Belgian capital. In the past week, as police closed in, some members including Salah Abdeslam were either arrested or killed before the team of four bombers launched twin attacks yesterday, killing 34
Prosecutors confirmed that they had found 15 kilos (33lb) of TATP high explosive in the flat.
They also found chemicals including 150 litres of acetone, 30 litres of liquid oxygen, detonators, a suitcase full of nails and other bomb-making equipment including plastic trays, tools and ventilator.
A third man, who was filmed with Ibrahim and a second unidentified suicide bomber and who fled the scene without detonating his device, remains on the run, prosecutors said.
‘The third man is on the run. He left his bag with the biggest bomb in it, which exploded later because it was so unstable.
‘This third person remains unidentified and is still being looked for,’ he said.
A REIGN OF TERROR: HOW PARIS ATTACKER SALAH ABDESLAM AVOIDED CAPTURE AND MINGLED WITH BOMBERS FOR MORE THAN FOUR MONTHS
Early September: Salah Abdeslam and Najim Laachraoui, now known as one of the two Brussels airport suicide bombers, travel to Budapest to pick up two men posing as migrants. The group then leaves the country together.
November 11: Abdeslam and a man later identified as Mohamed Abrini, 30, are captured on camera together at a petrol station in Ressons, France. They are driving the Renault Clio used two days later in the Paris attacks.
November 13: Some 130 people are massacred in a series of co-ordinated bomb and gun attacks across Paris, directly involving up to eight jihadis and for which Abdeslam helped organise logistics.
November 13: Abdeslam, travelling with two other men (who were later arrested) is stopped at a police checkpoint near the border with Belgium just hours after the attacks in Paris. They are all allowed to go free.
November 15: Reports emerge Abdelslam has been located at a house in Molenbeek – but police have to wait until daylight to raid it due to strict night-time laws. He has vanished by the time they act.
November 18: The suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, is killed in a shootout with police in St Denis, northern France. He is thought to have spent time waging jihad in Syria and had organised multiple attacks in Europe.
November 23: A swathe of night time raids across Molenbeek sees dozens of people arrested but police fail to find Abdeslam.
January 8: Authorities announce they have found Abdeslam’s fingerprints in a flat in Schaerbeek, Brussels that was raided in December.
March 15: Brussels bombers Khalid and Brahim El Bakraoui flee a flat in Forest, Brussels, following a raid by police at the safehouse. Abdeslam’s fingerprints are found in the building.
March 18: Abdeslam is arrested in a raid in Molenbeek after four months spent on the run. Authorities say he was supposed to be a fourth suicide bomber in Paris but ‘backed out’ at the last minute.
March 22: The Bakraoui brothers carry out suicide bomb attacks at Brussels airport and the city’s metro station respectively, killing 34 people. Laachraoui was the second airport suicide bomber.