Brussels Bomber Khalid El Bakraoui Used ID of Ex-Inter Player Ibrahim Maaroufi

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2016

Inter Milan's, Ibrahim Maaroufi, right, battles for the ball with Sheffield FC's Darren Holmes,  during their soccer exhibition match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield, England. The match is celebrating 150 years since the formation of Sheffield FC, the worlds first soccer club and is being watched by Brazilian great, Pele. Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007. (AP Photo/Simon Dawson)
Associated Press

Suicide bomber Khalid El Bakraoui, who detonated explosives at Maelbeek metro station in Brussels as part of the coordinated terror attacks on the Belgian city last week, reportedly used the identity of former Inter Milan player Ibrahim Maaroufi to get into the country.

According to Belgian authorities, El Bakraoui travelled to Italy, Greece and finally Belgium using Maaroufi's identity and rented a flat "where a terrorist cell is believed to have planned last November's Paris attacks," per Sky TG24 (via Lorenzo Bettoni of Calciomercato).

No evidence has emerged linking Maaroufi to the attacks that killed 35 people on the metro system and at Brussels' airport.

Moroccan Maaroufi, 27, was born in Brussels and played at the youth level for the Belgian national team.

He was at Inter between 2006 and 2009, during which he spent a season on loan at FC Twente. He most recently represented Belgian side FC Schaerbeek.

Gazzetta World (via 101 Great Goals) provided a side-by-side photo of Maaroufi and El Bakraoui:

According to Marc Mayo of Italian outlet Gazzetta World, El Bakraoui used the midfielder's passport to "cross Italian security checks" as he headed to Athens before returning to Belgium.

The report also added, citing an anti-terrorism dossier, it had been known the terrorist was using Maaroufi's name "for some time."