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'Spaniard' who rented Brussels flat where Paris attacks planned was false name, say Belgian police
INQUIRIES into the Friday 13th Paris attacks centred on a Spaniard thought to have rented one of three flats in Belgium where the massacre was planned – but it turned out the name was fake.
A property rented in the Schaerbeek neighbourhood of Brussels, on the rue Henri Bergé, showed the tenant's name as Fernando Castillo with the lease starting on September 1, 2015 for one year.
But Sr Castillo has turned out not to exist, and fingerprints from the missing terrorist Salah Abdesalam, a second-generation Moroccan with a Belgian passport, have been found there.
DNA from suicide bomber Bilal Hadfi, who blew himself up near the Stade de France, was also discovered in the flat let to Fernando Castillo, although no weapons have been discovered.
Further searches on this and two other apartments – one in Charleroi and one in Auvelais, both in the city of Brussels – uncovered chemicals for creating explosives including remains of acetone peroxide, or TATP, plus safety belts and a handwritten diagram showing a person wearing a suicide bomb belt.
The apartment rented in the rue du Fort in Charleroi under the fictitious name of Maaroufi Ibrahim, again for a year, and fingerprints and DNA of Bilal and Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected ringleader who was shot dead by police the week after the attacks, were discovered there.
And the Auvelais flat, on the rue de Radache, was let to the non-existent tenant Kayal Soufiane, and was used by two suspected terrorists whom Abdesalam sought in Budapest in September.
The Seat León thought to have been used in the Paris attacks was found to have been driven past the Charleroi and Auvelais flats, whilst the BMW hired by Mohammed Amri – one of the men who admitted to having driven Abdesalam from Paris to Brussels within hours of the massacre in the French capital – had been driven by all three of the properties, including the one supposedly let to Fernando Castillo.
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