There have been further developments in the investigation opened following the Zaventem and Brussels attacks, which took place on March 22nd, 2016. The Brussels Court in Chambers decided, on Thursday, to extend the remand of Bilal El Makhoukhi for a further two months. This was indicated by the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Bilal El Makhoukhi is suspected of having supplied logistical assistance to Mohamed Abrini and Osama Krayem. He was accused of taking part in terrorist group activities and aiding and abetting terrorist murders. This is in the context of the Brussels attacks case.
Bilal El Makhoukhi was sentenced last year to five years in prison, including two involving immediate imprisonment. This occurred in the trial against Sharia4Belgium in Antwerp. At the time of the trial, it was not proven that El Makhoukhi was a member of Sharia4Belgium. However, he was providing services to terrorist organisations. The Public Prosecutor’s Officce had requested his immediate arrest in February 2015.
This was because they feared that Bilal El Makhoukhi had only returned to Belgium on medical grounds. Their thinking was that he then wished to return to Syria, where he had been seriously wounded.
The audio testimony from Ibrahim El Bakraoui found in a laptop, not far from the hideout at Rue Max Roos in Schaerbeek, alluded to a certain ‘Abou Imran’. This was the nom de guerre used by Bilal El Makhoukhi during his stay in Syria in 2012.