The terrorists responsible for killing 32 in the Brussels bombings last month originally intended to strike Paris, prosecutors revealed Sunday – but chose Belgium to throw off the police investigation against them.
"Numerous elements in the investigation have shown that the terrorist group initially had the intention to strike in France again," Belgium's federal prosecutor said in a statement.
"Surprised by the speed of progress in the investigation, they took the decision to strike in Brussels."
Prosecutors have already filed charges against four people believed to have been involved in the attacks last month. A total of 32 people were killed and 270 wounded.
Several suspects in the group have already been definitively linked to the terror attacks in Paris in November which killed 130 people. The DNA of one of the Brussels bombers – Najim Laachraoui – was also found on bomb remnants from those attacks.
Serious questions about the handling of the threat have been raised after it was revealed the attack was conducted by the same ISIS cell responsible for last November's Paris attacks in which 130 people were murdered.
Leaders of the cell hailed from the Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels; the Guardian reports that many of the men were cousins, childhood friends, or brothers.
Two government ministers, Interior Minister Jan Jambon and Justice Minister Koen Geens, submitted resignations following the attacks for failing to stop them in time.