Paris, Brussels attacks 'ordered by top ISIL leaders'
Nov.10, Paris: The cell that launched deadly attacks on Paris and Brussels had received its orders from "very high" in the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) command, according to Belgium's federal prosecutor.
Late last year a wave of bombings and shootings killed 130 people and injured hundreds more across the French capital. And in March suicide blasts struck an airport and a metro station in the Belgian capital, leaving about 30 people dead.
"We know that the orders came from the Islamic State zone. ... We know that it went very high in the command," Frederic Van Leeuw said in an interview with the AFP news agency in Brussels on Wednesday.
He could not say exactly who gave the orders or whether they sent them from a base in Syria or Iraq, the territory run by ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
He said the command moved around to dodge US-backed strikes. "Baghdadi was for a while in Mosul [in Iraq], sometimes in Raqqa [in Syria]," he said.
"We don't know at all who are the people who really gave the orders."ISIL, also known as ISIS, claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris on November 13 last year as well as for the blasts in Brussels on March 22.
Van Leeuw said the attacks were carried out by the same Franco-Belgian cell in which "the logisticians in one case became the operational ones in the following case".
With authorities still looking for suspects, he said: "The investigation is far from having ended, as much at the Belgian as at the French level."
The Oslo Times International News Network