Terrorists Najim Laachraoui and Ibrahim El Bakraoui talked about what they planned to do the next day during a recorded conversation they had the day before the 22nd March 2016 Brussels attacks. Police were able to get hold of the 10 minute recording, and La Libre Belgique, la Dernière Heure, De Standaard, and Het Nieuwsblad released a transcript of it on Saturday.
“The situation means we can’t, we can’t delay acting any longer, you know. We have to work as fast as possible and we have decided to perform Inchallah tomorrow, Tuesday the 22nd of March”, Mr Laachraoui said during the conversation.
The discussion then turned to the use of more than 100 kilos of TATP explosive and the targets, the airport and metro lines. “A brother told us that in the mornings there are American flights, Russian flights, Israeli flights. We will try to hit those. The problem is…. If we use kala, as we don’t have many chargers etc we will start to attack the crowd and they will run. There are also soldiers and things. So we thought… to hit as many victims as possible we would go in at the last minute and all perform Inchallah at the same time”, Mr Laachraoui says.
Ibrahim El Bakraoui also said they felt surrounded and were afraid they could be caught at any moment: “We are having to work quickly”. There was a raid on Salah Abdeslam’s hideout in Forest in the days leading up to the attack, and he was arrested.
A laptop was found in a bin in rue Max Roos, and investigators found a letter of demand addressed to the government on it. It was dated the day before the attacks, at 22h43.