French and Belgian authorities say the attacks in Paris and Brussels may have been the work of
one Islamic State terrorist cell, based in Brussels. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that Europe turned a blind eye to mounting extremism in its cities. European security officials had been bracing for a major attack for weeks and had warned that Isis (Daesh) was actively preparing to strike. Brussels explosions LIVE: Multiple deaths after blasts at Zaventem airport and Maalbeek metro
The explosions came just days after Belgium's security services caught the last surviving suspect in November's attacks on Paris, in which 130 people were killed. Security experts believed the blasts were probably in preparation
before the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, 26, accused of playing a key role in the Paris attacks. It appears Europe's most wanted man never left the Belgian capital. Family, friends and petty criminals helped him evade a manhunt for four months before he was arrested in the neighbourhood he grew up in, not far from his parents' home. The borough of Molenbeek has been described as a "Jihadist air base" because of the number of militant suspects believed to be living there.
IBTimes UK looks back at four months of terror in France and Belgium, beginning with the Paris attacks and the hunt for the perpetrators, and culminating in the capture of Abdeslam and the explosions in Brussels.
13 November 2015: French fire brigade members aid an injured individual near the Bataclan concert hall following fatal shootings in Paris Christian Hartmann/Reuters 13 November 2015: A victim's body lies covered on Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire, close to the Bataclan Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images 13 November 2015: Rescue service personnel work near covered bodies outside the Le Carillon restaurant in Paris Philippe Wojazer/Reuters 16 November 2015: The Eiffel Tower is lit with the blue, white and red colours of the French flag Benoit Tessier/Reuters Famous landmarks around the world are illuminated in the colours of the French flag Reuters A CCTV image shows Salah Abdeslam and Mohamed Abrini at a petrol station in Ressons, north of Paris, on 11 November 2015 AFP 16 November 2015: Police officers use a camera as they prepare to enter a house in the Rue Delaunoy in the Molenbeek-Saint-Jean area of Brussels, several days after a series of deadly attacks in Paris Dirk Waem/AFP 18 November 2015: A man is evacuated after being arrested by French police in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis. At least one person was killed in an apartment during the hunt for suspected mastermind of the attacks, Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP 18 November 2015: A forensic specialist searches for evidence in the apartment raided by special forces in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis Joel Saget/AFP 22 November 2015: People mourn outside the Le Carillon restaurant in Paris a week after a series of deadly attacks in the French capital Charles Platiau/Reuters 22 November 2015: Belgian soldiers patrol Brussels' Grand Place after the city was placed on lock-down Yves Herman/Reuters 22 November 2015: Belgian special police forces take part in an operation in the Molenbeek neighbourhood of Brussels Yves Herman/Reuters 24 November 2015: The coffin containing the body of Valeria Solesin, an Italian victim of the Paris attacks, is carried by gondoliers during her state funeral in Venice Manuel Silvestri/Reuters 27 November 2015: People wounded in the Paris attacks, and their family members, attend a ceremony to pay homage to the victims at Les Invalides monument in Paris Charles Platiau/Reuters 27 November 2015: French flags are seen on windows and facades of buildings in Paris after the French President called on all citizens to hang the tricolour to pay tribute to the victims of the attacks Christian Hartmann/Reuters 7 January 2016: A woman lights a candle as people gather on the Place de la Republique on the anniversary of the shootings at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo Stephane Mahe/Reuters 15 March 2016: A masked Belgian policeman secures the area from a rooftop above the scene where shots were fired during the search of a house in the suburb of Forest near Brussels Francois Lenoir/Reuters 15 March 2016: A victim is removed from the scene where shots were fired during a police search of a house in the suburb of Forest near Brussels Francois Lenoir/Reuters 17 March 2016: Relatives and friends carry the coffin of Brahim Abdeslam, one of the attackers of the 13 November Paris attacks, during his burial ceremony at the interdenominational cemetery of Schaerbeek in Brussels AFP 18 March 2016: Belgian policemen stand guard in a road during an operation in the Molenbeek-Saint-Jean district of Brussels, home to key Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam 18 March 2016: Armed Belgian police apprehend Salah Abdeslam, one of the main suspects from November's Paris attacks, in Molenbeek, near Brussels Reuters 20 March 2016: The prison in Bruges where Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam is being held John Thys/AFP 22 March 2016: A soldier is seen inside Zaventem airport near Brussels, after twin explosions ripped through the departures hall Jef Versele/Reuters 22 March 2016: A private security guard helps a wounded woman outside the Maalbeek metro station near EU institutions in Brussels Michael Villa/AFP 22 March 2016:The Eiffel Tower in Paris is illuminated in the colours of the Belgian flag in tribute to the victims of the Brussels attacks Philippe Wojazer/Reuters