Brussels terror trial: El Makhoukhi knew where the cell's weapons were, wiretaps show

Brussels terror trial: El Makhoukhi knew where the cell's weapons were, wiretaps show
Credit: Belga

Bilal El Makhoukhi, a defendant in the Brussels bombing trial, knew where a cache of weapons of the terrorist cell was located, according to State Security wiretaps in June 2016, transmitted to the federal prosecutor.

This information is included in the indictment, which federal prosecutors continued to read on Wednesday in the court of assises.

State Security was able to intercept a conversation between another accused, Mohamed Abrini, and Mehdi Nemmouche, the perpetrator of the attack on the Jewish Museum in Belgium on 24 May 2014, when they were both incarcerated in Bruges prison.

This conversation, held on 27 May 2016, revealed that Bilal El Makhoukhi knew the location of the weapons, explosives and money entrusted to him by Najim Laachraoui, one of the Zaventem terrorists. Abrini claimed that this arsenal was to be used for a new attack.

In another conversation, on 1 June 2016, Mohamed Abrini asks Bilal El Makhoukhi about these weapons and how his brother could possibly take possession of them. El Makhoukhi claimed to know where the weapons were hidden.

On 2 June, Abrini tried to find out the “code” to recover the weapons. El Makhoukhi replied that the person to whom he had given them would not agree to hand them over to someone he did not know.


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