Paris attacks: Two suspects arrested for 'supplying fake documents to Isis militants to plan atrocities'

Man and woman accused of supplying false documents to Isis militant Khalid el-Bakraoui

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The Independent Online

Two new suspects have been arrested in connection with the Paris attacks as authorities continue to investigate the Isis “supercell” behind the massacres and bombings just four months later in Brussels.

Belgium’s federal prosecutor said the pair were suspected of falsifying documents for Khalid el-Bakraoui, who was involved in planning the November 2015 attacks.

A spokesperson said a man identified as Farid K was in custody after being charged with “participation to the activities of a terrorist group, falsification of documents and use of false documents”. 

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A woman named as Meryem EB has been charged with falsification of documents and use of false documents, but was released on bail.

“They are suspected to have provided Khalid el-Bakraoui with the false documents afterwards used in preparation of the Paris attacks,” the prosecutor’s office said.

The 27-year-old Belgian, a former bank robber and criminal, evaded Interpol after being found to have rented a safe house in Charleroi to prepare bombs for the Isis militants who would go on to murder 130 people.

His brother Ibrahim had already been identified by Turkey as a potential Isis fighter in Syria and American security services also wanted Khalid for “terrorism, extremism and recruitment”. 

Police tracked the pair across Belgium and France, killing another jihadi at an apartment rented by Khalid in the Brussels district of Forest on 15 March. 

Paris suspect Salah Abdeslam, whose fingerprints were found inside, was arrested three days later and taken for questioning.

But the brothers, using a series of aliases, were not found until the day of the Brussels attacks on 22 March 2016.

Ibrahim blew himself up at Brussels Airport, alongside bomb maker Najim Laachraoui, while Khalid detonated his explosives little over an hour later at Maelbeek Metro station.

Like the rest of the Paris-Brussels cell, the Bakraoui brothers had used a series of fake names and forced ID cards to prepare for the atrocities.

In its Dabiq propaganda magazine, Isis claimed the pair supplied weapons, cars and lodgings for the Paris attacks, before organising their own atrocity with at least two other jihadis.

“It is firstly due to Allah and then to Ibrahim and his brother that the raid in Paris took place,” an article said.