Belgium police have discovered two apartments and a house used by ISIS militants as safe houses prior to the coordinated shooting and suicide bomb attacks on Paris in November, prosecutors said Wednesday.
"The investigators were able to identify three premises that have been used by the conspiring perpetrators of the attacks of 13th November 2015," a spokesman for federal prosecutor Eric Van Der Sypt said in a statement, according to AFP.
The statement revealed that the Paris attackers rented an apartment in Brussels and another in Charleroi at the start of September, as well as a house in the town of Auvelais, about 35 miles south of Brussels, at the start of October. The tenants gave false identities and paid for all three in cash.
The rented properties linked Salah Abdeslam, the only participant in the attack still believed to be at large, militant Bilal Hadfi, who blew himself up in Paris on the day of the attacks, suspected mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who was killed during a police raid in St. Denis, and three unidentified accomplices, The Independent reported.
Investigators found DNA traces of Hadfi in one of the apartments, while they found both mattresses and fingerprints of Hadfi and Abaaoud in the Charleroi apartment. One of the fake identities used while renting that apartment was also the same one used by one of the two people that Abdeslam was confirmed to have picked up in Budapest before driving back to Belgium.
They have also found that the Seat Leon used in the Paris attacks had stopped near the Charleroi and Auvelais safe houses, while a rented BMW stopped near all three, according to Reuters.
The discovery comes a week after prosecutors reported finding a possible bomb factory in the Brussels district of Schaerbeek.