A Brussels court on Tuesday found six out of ten suspects guilty of “terrorist murder” in the 2016 Brussels attacks, according to Belgian public broadcaster RTBF.
Mohamed Abrini, Oussama Atar, Osama Krayem, Salah Abdeslam, Ali El Haddad Asufi and Bilal El Makhoukhi were all found guilty of terrorist murder, according to RTBF.
The Brussels court established a terrorist motive behind the attacks, ruling that the group’s intention was to intimidate the Belgian population and kill as many people as possible, RTBF reported.
The six men, alongside Hervé Bayingana Muhirwa and Sofien Ayari, were also found guilty of participating in the activities of a terrorist organization, according to RTBF.
The trial began last year to determine whether 10 men played a part in the suicide bombings on March 22, 2016 that killed dozens of people and injured over 300. The court found that four further people should be added to the list of people killed in the attacks, bringing the death toll up to 36 people, according to RTBF.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks, which saw suicide bombers detonate several explosions in Brussels airport and a metro station in the city.
In 2022, Abdeslam was also found guilty of carrying out a series of deadly gun and bomb attacks in Paris in 2015. Abdeslam, who is believed to be only surviving member of the group that carried out the French attacks, was given a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole by a French court.
Meanwhile, Oussama Atar who was absent from the Brussels trial, is presumed to have been killed in Syria, according to RTBF.
Brothers Smail Farisi and Ibrahim Farisi were both acquitted of the charge of participation in activities of a terrorist group, according to RTBF. The two brothers were consequently not guilty of all charges filed against them.
Tuesday’s ruling marks the end of Belgium’s largest ever trial which included evidence from over 370 witnesses and experts, according to Reuters.
When the attacks took place in 2016, Belgium had been a focus for counterterrorism officials because of the large number of Belgian foreign fighters who have traveled to join ISIS and other terror groups in Syria and Iraq – more per capita than any other European Union country.