Previous reports that stated Najim Laachraoui, the third Brussels attacks suspect, had been apprehended were incorrect. The Belgian officials confirmed Wednesday night that he was still at large.
One man has been arrested in Belgium, linked to the attack on the capital on Tuesday within the Anderlecht district. Outlets originally started reporting that it was the third suspect, seen dressed in white and a hat on CCTV. This has been incorrect, and police are still searching for him.
Laachraoui was spotted on CCTV pushing a large explosive on a suitcase trolley. Prosecution has said that this bomb did not go off, and the army successfully deactivated it. The two explosions were from suicide bomber brothers Khalid and Brahim el-Bakraoui. The two brothers were known by police, but not for terrorism. Police now state that the two men in black were not the two brothers. One is Brahim and the second is unknown. Brahim’s brother Khalid was the suicide bomber on the metro.
Police have stated that the three were picked up together from an address rented under a fake name and paid for in cash. Two more suitcases of explosives were found, suggesting a larger death toll was planned. The taxi driver stated that the three men had wanted to take all five suitcases, but were unable to fit all in the car. The Brussels attacks involved two bombs at the airport and one at Maalbeek Metro station, killing more than 30 people and injuring more than 250.
Laachraoui is the only suspect in the attack on the run, according to The Independent. He also has the alias Soufiane Kayal, and has been suspected as the bomb maker in the Paris attacks. His DNA and fingerprints have been located in the address where the police raid took place in Paris shortly after the Paris bombings and shootings in November 2015. Police are still unsure why he fled rather than detonating his bomb at the airport.
Laachraoui has been connected to terror suspect Salah Abdeslam, who was arrested on Friday in Brussels. Abdeslam has been cooperating with the police, and reportedly wants a quick extradition back to Paris. He also says that he knew nothing about the Brussels attacks. He now wants to be extradited so he can “explain himself.”
Images from Twitter. Tweets included above.
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