January 12, 2017 / 8:56 AM / 9 months ago

Belgium charges pair over fake papers for jihadist in Paris, Brussels attacks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian authorities have charged two people with supplying fake documents to an Islamic State militant involved in the November 2015 attacks in Paris and who later carried out a suicide bombing on the Brussels metro, prosecutors said on Thursday.

A man, whom Interpol said is named Khalid El Bakraoui, is seen in this undated photo issued by Interpol on their website and obtained March 23, 2016, after he was suspected of involvement in the Brussels airport and metro attack. REUTERS/Interpol/Handout via Reuters

Khalid El Bakraoui was involved in planning the attacks in Paris on the evening of Nov. 13 2015 in which 130 people were killed. He then blew himself up in the Brussels metro last March, as part of coordinated attacks that killed 32 people.

Belgian police detained a man and a woman in a house search on Wednesday, prosecutors said.

The woman, identified as Meryem E. B., was released under strict conditions. The man, named as Farid K., remained in custody. He is also charged with participating in the activities of a terrorist organisation.

“They are suspected of having provided Khalid El Bakraoui with the false documents later used in preparation for the Paris attacks,” prosecutors said in a statement.

Bakraoui rented, under a false name, an apartment in the city’s Forest borough where police hunting Paris suspect Salah Abdeslam killed another suspected militant in a raid weeks before the attacks in Brussels.

He is also believed to have rented a safe house in the southern Belgian city of Charleroi used in preparation for the Paris attacks.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Raissa Kasolowsky

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