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.

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.