UPDATE: Brussels attacks: Belgian media withdraws report that Laachraoui has been arrested
The Brussels airport attacker identified as Najim Laachraoui has been arrested.
The master bombmaker who posed as migrant and attacked Paris last year is now chief suspect in Belgian atrocity as police swoop on home district. A friend of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who masterminded the November 2015 Paris attacks, told police that the jihadi claimed he was among 90 terrorists who smuggled themselves across the Mediterranean with migrants and refugees.
The Islamic State warned the West that they would send an army of jihadis into the West in a vast migration. And they have. Europe imported an invading army, and jihad sympathizer Obama wants to destroy us in the very same way.
Najim Laachraoui, 24, is thought to have made bombs in Brussels attack
He has also used the alias Soufiane Kayal fake documents to rent flat
His DNA was found in safe house used to plan the Paris attacks
Stopped by Austria-Hungary border guards in a rented car on September (more at Mail Online)
Najim Laachraoui, 24, is also suspected of being responsible for the bombs used in the Paris massacre after it was revealed his DNA was found on suicide belts used in the Bataclan Theatre and the Stade de France.
Laachraoui reportedly travelled to Syria in February 2013 and was stopped by guards at the Austria-Hungary border on September 9 last year while driving a rented Mercedes he shared with Salah Abdesalam, according to the Belgian Federal Prosecutor.
The 25-year-old’s DNA has been found in houses used by the Paris attackers last year, prosecutors said on Monday, and he had travelled to Hungary in September with Paris attacks prime suspect Salah Abdeslam.
The pair were also travelling with Mohamed Belkaid, 35, the man shot and killed during the raid to capture Abdelslam on Friday.
It is thought Laachraoui was not stopped as he was using a drivers licence under a different name and traveled to Budapest twice in September 2015.
On this instance, the three men had posed as tourists heading to Vienna on holiday and did not raise suspicions when they were stopped by police.
Laachraoui was also captured on CCTV with Belkaid four days after the attacks during a money transfer in a Western Union bank in the Brussels area.
‘The investigation showed that Soufiane Kayal can be identified as Najim Laachraoui, born on May 18, 1991 and who travelled to Syria in February 2013,’ prosecutors said in a statement in Brussels.
It is also using this alias that authorities have said he was in contact via phone with Paris attacks ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud, and gave him guidance in the lead-up to the November attacks.
He has been identified as using the alias Soufiane Kayal – the name he used to rent the safe house used by the Paris bombers to plan the Paris attack, where his DNA has also been found as well as in their hideout in Schaerbeek.
At the house on Rue Henri Berge, investigators found traces of TATP – a signature explosive of ISIS in Europe, and was found in the suicide vests used by the Paris attackers.
It comes as Belgian federal prosecutors say a house search in the Brussels neighborhood of Schaerbeek has ‘led to the discovery of an explosive device containing among other things nails.’
Investigators also found chemical products and an Islamic State flag.
A Belgian prosecutor says police raids are happening around the country after two men ‘probably’ staged suicide bombings at the Brussels airport and a third fled.
Prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said Tuesday that the third suspect – on the right of the photo wearing a thick white sweater – is actively being sought by police.
The ‘masterbomber’ Najim is believed to have studied electro-mechanical engineering at a Catholic high school named as the Institute de la Sainte-Famille d’Helmet by in an investigation by The New York Times.
[…]’This terrorist group in Brussels had multiple, viable explosive devices. It suggests they were dealing with someone with substantial experience.
Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said on Sunday that Salah Abdeslam, who was arrested on Friday when was caught was 500 metres from his childhood home, had claimed that ‘he was ready to restart something from Brussels, and it’s maybe the reality,’
Reynders gave credence to the suspect’s claim because ‘we found a lot of weapons, heavy weapons in the first investigations, and we have seen a new network of people around him in Brussels.’
A friend of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who masterminded the November 2015 Paris attacks, told police that the jihadi claimed he was among 90 terrorists who smuggled themselves across the Mediterranean with migrants and refugees.
Abdeslam relied on two friends to drive him back to Brussels after his brother Brahim blew himself up at a Paris cafe.
Others drove him around Molenbeek and its environs between safe houses.
Authorities are also searching for Mohamed Abrini, 31, who was filmed with Abdeslam at a petrol station on a highway to Paris two days before the Paris attacks and has been missing since November 12.
It has been reported that Abrini’s brother Souleyman, 20, died in Syria in 2014 while fighting for a militia led by Abdelhamid Abaaoud – the ‘mastermind’ of the Paris attacks.
Police, who were eventually able to move in to seize Abdeslam at a house in the rundown North African neighbourhood of Molenbeek four days ago, have charged a man and a women whom they suspect of being part of a family who harboured the fugitive.
(more at Mail Online)
Last week, Belgian police said they were hunting for the suspected accomplice of Abdeslam. He is believed to have made the suicide vests used in the November attacks in Paris, in which 130 people were killed at the Bataclan theatre, Stade de France and at restaurants and cafes around the French capital.
Master bombmaker who attacked Paris last year is chief Belgian suspect
BREAKING NEWS – Paris master bombmaker ‘man in white’ is ARRESTED: Police capture world’s most wanted man as it’s revealed two Belgian brothers are named as suicide bombers
- ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Brussels massacres, which killed 34 in total and injured around 250 others
- Twin suicide bombings yesterday killed 34 people – 14 at city’s airport at 8am and 20 at 9.19am on Metro train
- Belgian brother Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui, named as suicide bombers who blew themselves up in departures
- Third suspect Najim Laachraoui – known as ‘Man in White’ – fled airport after he left a suitcase bomb and is on run
- Laachraoui was expert bombmaker who made suicide vests used in Paris massacres where 130 died in November
- Driver who took terrorists to airport reveals that fourth suitcase bomb was left behind because it wouldn’t fit in taxi
- Cabbie was suspicious after attacks andled police to safehouse containing fourth bomb, ISIS flag and chemicals
Brussels bombmaker Najim Laachraoui – known as the ‘Man in white’ – has been arrested in a suburb of the Belgian capital, it has been claimed today.
Laachraoui is a master bombmaker suspected of rigging up the suicide vests used in the Paris massacres and has been found in the Anderlecht district of the city.
Belgian brothers Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui were today named as the two airport ISIS suicide bombers who murdered 14 people – eight days after escaping a shoot-out with police in Brussels.
The jihadists were named as police linked the atrocities in the French capital that killed 130 and the bombings at Brussels Airport and a Metro station that left 34 dead yesterday.
Laachraoui went on the run after leaving a suitcase packed with explosives and calmly walking from the terminal moments before the massacre at 8am.
Just 79 minutes later a suicide bomber detonated his vest on a Brussels Metro train at Maelbeek station killing 20 people. It is not known if he raced across the city to blow himself up.
Today it emerged there could have been a fourth airport bomb but the ISIS fanatics couldn’t fit all their explosive-packed suitcases into the taxi and refused to let the driver touch them so left one behind at their safehouse.
Laachraoui was already one of the world’s most wanted men, having built the suicide vests that helped kill 130 in Paris last November and went on the run with Salah Abdeslam before hiding in Brussels for four months.
And one of the brothers, Khalid El Bakraoui, rented the apartment where Paris terror attacker Salah Abdeslam was captured by anti-terror police last Friday, according to respected Belgium news organisation RTL.
Yesterday’s twin terror attacks on the Belgian capital that left at least 34 people dead are believed to have been revenge for Abdeslam’s capture – experts believe the jihadists launched the Brussels attacks because the net was closing in on their terror cell.
All of the men were ‘well known’ to detectives and had been on the run since Tuesday March 15 following a shoot-out in a terrorist hideout in the Belgian capital’s Forest suburb. They opened fire on police and fled.
Yet they still managed to find another address to stay, where they stored the explosives and guns used in Tuesday’s attacks.
Brussels bombers: (Pictured left to right) Brothers Khalid El Bakraoui and Ibrahim El Bakraoui have been named as the airport suicide bombers and explosives expert Najim Laachraoui is the third man – still on on the run
Obliterated: Ceiling tiles and debris are littered across the floor of the terminal building after twins blast rocked the check-in are
Belgium started three days of mourning today after the worst terror attacks in its history claimed the lives of 34 and left more than 250 injured in 79 minutes of rush hour carnage. The dead and injured have 40 different nationalities, and contains two Britons.
Mother-of-two Adelma Tapia Ruiz, 36, is the only named victim of the Brussels terror attacks so far. The Peruvian national had lived in Belgium for nine years, was on her the way to visit relatives in New York with her twin daughters when she died in the double suicide bombing at Zaventem Airport.
Ms Tapia’s three-year-old twins Maureen and Alondra, and her Belgian husband Christopher Delcambe, survived the explosion on Tuesday morning.
The girlfriend of a British father missing after the Brussels attacks is among desperate relatives searching the city’s hospitals in the hope of finding their loved ones.
David Dixon has not been in contact with his partner, Charlotte Sutcliffe, since the bombs went off and may have been on the Brussels Metro at the time of Tuesday’s explosion at the Maalbeck underground station.
The IT programmer, who lives in Brussels but is originally from Hartlepool, County Durham, was travelling to work yesterday morning but did not arrive at his office.
The 53-year-old would have travelled through Maelbeek station, where the attack happened.
Friends have been appealing for information on his whereabouts on social media and asking anyone with information to contact his Ms Sutcliffe.
American siblings Sascha and Alexander Pinczowski were at Brussels Airport at the time of the two explosions inside a terminal and have not been seen or heard from since the incidents.
According to Dutch media reports, the pair were on the phone to their family when the blasts took place and then the line went dead.
The Pinczowskis, both from New York, were at Brussels Airport at the time of the two explosions inside a terminal and have not been seen or heard from since the incidents.
Police have confirmed that those who carried it out have links to the cell who carried out the Paris attacks four months ago.
Today it emerged that the El Bakraoui brothers fled a Brussels police raid last week where snipers shot and killed Paris bombing suspect Mohamed Belkaid, it emerged today.
The raid carried out last Tuesday on a flat in the suburb of Forest saw a sniper kill Belkaid while the El Bakraoui brothers managed to escape police.
Police were acting on a tip-off in connection to the Paris terror attacks, and carried out the raid in Forest, which is close to Molenbeek, where several jihadis behind the Paris attacks lived.
While there was initial speculation that the raid had aimed to capture Paris-terrorist Salah Abdeslam, who was arrested later in the week in a separate operation, this was later denied by a police spokesman.
Victim: Adelma Tapia Ruiz, 36, died in the terrorist attack in Brussels on Tuesday, while her three-year-old twins Maureen and Alondra, and her Belgian husband Christopher Delcambe, survived
David Dixon, from Hartlepool, has not been in contact with his partner Charlotte Louise Sutcliffe since leaving for work yesterday
New York siblings Sascha (pictured) and Alexander Pinczowski (right) were at Brussels Airport at the time of the two explosions inside a terminal – they haven’t been seen since
Belkaid, an Algerian national who was illegally in Belgium, was found with an ISIS flag, AK-47 assault rifle and a book of jihadist literature next to his body.
At the time police said: ‘two persons [the El Bakraoui brothers] who were probably in the flat fled the scene and are being tracked down’.
Less than one week later, Khalid and Brahim El Bakraoui carried out the terrorist attack at Brussels airport and as passengers queued to check in for flights at around 8am local time (7am GMT) the first blast rang out.
People fled towards the entrance of Brussels Zaventem Airport, a second much bigger blast in front of them brought down much of the ceiling and sent razor-sharp shrapnel, body parts and clouds of thick dust and smoke billowing through the building.
According to Belgian news website 7sur7, Ibrahim was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2010 for firing at police with an AK-47 assault rifle during a robbery.
Khalid was also given a five-year jail term in early 2011 for possessing AK-47s and committing a series of car-jackings, it was reported. It is not clear when they were released from prison.
Their use of Kalashnikovs, a signature weapon for ISIS and other extremist groups, will raise questions about why they were not monitored more closely by security services.
Belgian terror expert Pieter Van Ostaeyen says French prosecutor indicating that Abdeslam had started talking to police may have triggered the attack.s
‘The three terrorists thought their network would be exposed and carried out their terror plan before this happened as a pre-emptive move,’ he told Aftonbladet.
‘It happened today [Tuesday], maybe weeks or months before the planned date.
‘The French prosecutor should not have talked so much. He sent out the wrong signals to the ISIS network still intact in Europe, so it was high time for them to act and that’s exactly what happened.
‘The Belgian police investigation was leaking, and that’s why it happened now,’ he adds.
Belgian intelligence services are already under intense pressure to explain a number of failures that have allowed members of the ISIS cell to operate under their noses in the capital.