Europe

Prosecutors: Group that hit Brussels planned France attack

  • Police secure an area during a house search in the Etterbeek neighborhood in Brussels on Saturday April 9, 2016. The arrest Friday of six men suspected of links to the Brussels bombings, including the last known fugitive in last year's Paris attacks, raised new questions about the extent of the Islamic State cell believed to have carried out the intertwined attacks that left 162 people dead in two countries. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    Police secure an area during a house search in the Etterbeek neighborhood in Brussels on Saturday April 9, 2016. The arrest Friday of six men suspected of links to the Brussels bombings, including the last known fugitive in last year's Paris attacks, raised new questions about the extent of the Islamic State cell believed to have carried out the intertwined attacks that left 162 people dead in two countries. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Belgian Federal Police hand out picture made available Thursday April 7, 2016  the third suspect of the  recent  attack on Brussels airport is shown during his escape from the airport after the blasts. After nearly three weeks of frantic searching, Belgian authorities announced Saturday they had finally arrested and identified the elusive "man in the hat" spotted alongside two suicide bombers who blew themselves up at Brussels Airport on March 22. (Belgian Federal Police via AP)

    In this Belgian Federal Police hand out picture made available Thursday April 7, 2016 the third suspect of the recent attack on Brussels airport is shown during his escape from the airport after the blasts. After nearly three weeks of frantic searching, Belgian authorities announced Saturday they had finally arrested and identified the elusive "man in the hat" spotted alongside two suicide bombers who blew themselves up at Brussels Airport on March 22. (Belgian Federal Police via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Belgian Federal Police hand out picture made available Thursday April 7, 2016  the third suspect, of the  recent  attack on Brussels airport is shown, indicated in box, during his escape from the airport after the blasts. After nearly three weeks of frantic searching, Belgian authorities announced Saturday they had finally arrested and identified the elusive "man in the hat" spotted alongside two suicide bombers who blew themselves up at Brussels Airport on March 22. (Belgian Federal Police via AP)

    In this Belgian Federal Police hand out picture made available Thursday April 7, 2016 the third suspect, of the recent attack on Brussels airport is shown, indicated in box, during his escape from the airport after the blasts. After nearly three weeks of frantic searching, Belgian authorities announced Saturday they had finally arrested and identified the elusive "man in the hat" spotted alongside two suicide bombers who blew themselves up at Brussels Airport on March 22. (Belgian Federal Police via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Belgium's Federal Prosecution Office says that the terror group that struck Brussels on March 22 initially planned to launch a second attack on France.

But the office said Sunday that the perpetrators were "surprised by the speed of the progress in the ongoing investigation" and decided to rush an attack on Brussels instead.

Two suicide bombers killed 16 people at Brussels Airport on March 22. A subsequent explosion at Brussels' Maelbeek subway station killed another 16 people the same morning.

Investigators have found intimate links between the cell behind the Brussels attacks and the group that killed 130 people in Paris on Nov. 13.