Mohamed Abrini, the man arrested for links with the Paris and Brussels terror attacks, had planned to stage another attack in France, Belgian prosecutors said on Sunday.
Abrini, who was arrested in Brussels on Friday, also admitted to being the “man in the hat” seen with the bombers who attacked a Brussels airport, Xinhua cited Belgian prosecutors as saying.
The Brussels-based terror cell intended to launch a fresh strike in France, but attacked in
the Belgian capital instead after being “surprised” by a quick-moving investigation, Belgian prosecutors said.
“The terrorist group initially had the intention to strike in France again,” federal prosecutors said.
“Surprised by the speed of the progress in the ongoing investigation, they urgently took the decision to strike in Brussels.”
Abrini was also wanted in connection with the November 13 Paris attacks that left at least 130 people killed and over 250 injured.
He is one of six men arrested on Friday. Four others have been charged with terror offences.
The attacks at Zaventem airport and a Metro station in Brussels left 34 people dead.
The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for both of the attacks.
(With agencies input)