The Netherlands did not realise that one of the Brussels suicide bombers, who arrived at Amsterdam airport, was a dangerous suspect as Turkey failed to follow normal procedures when expelling him, the justice minister in The Hague said.
Brahim El Bakraoui, who blew himself up at Brussels airport on Tuesday, slipped through the net and into the Netherlands last July as a result of miscommunication between countries, Ard van der Steur said on Thursday.
The Belgian failure to hold Bakraoui prompted two Belgian ministers to offer to resign and raised questions on procedures to monitor or hold suspected Islamist militants returning from the Middle East to their native countries in Europe.
"He wasn't registered anywhere and the Turkish authorities didn't give the reason why he was deported," van der Steur told a news conference. "Turkey did not follow normal procedures and ...tell us he was being deported to the Netherlands."
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey had warned Belgian and Dutch officials that Bakraoui, a convicted armed robber on parole, was a militant.
Officials later added that he had twice been deported.
In a written answer to parliament, van der Steur confirmed Bakraoui arrived on July 14 after Dutch diplomats in Ankara were informed he was being expelled and had asked to be flown to Amsterdam. But the Dutch had no evidence that he had arrived twice.
"There were no suspicions against him in the Netherlands. The person concerned was not registered in the relevant investigation system," he wrote.