Three Muslim suspects were photographed by airport security cameras; police are asking for help identifying one of the men. The El Bakraoui brothers have been identified as the Islamic State suicide bombers who killed 34 and wounded hundreds in Brussels. One brother “fired Kalashnikov at police in 2010.”
So why was he free to kill?
They are both linked to the prime suspect in the Paris massacre, Salah Abdeslam, investigators said.
The two suicide bombers who carried out the attacks in Brussels airport on Tuesday were brothers Khalid and Brahim El Bakraoui, Brussels residents known to the police for crime, the RTBF public broadcaster said, quoting an unnamed source.
“Brussels attacks: El Bakraoui brothers named as Islamic State suicide bombers who killed 34 and wounded hundreds – latest” The Telegraph, March 22, 2016:
Latest updates as Belgian authorities fear terrorists in bomb attacks on airport and Metro could still be on loose after suitcase and suicide belt blasts
• Brussels airport explosions: Two blasts early on Tuesday morning
• Third explosion rocks Metro system close to EU buildings hour later
• 34 killed and 200+ injured in coordinated attacks on Belgian capital
• Airport suicide bombers believed to be El Bakraoui brothers
• Wanted notice issued for one suspect, massive manhunt underway
• First victim named as Peruvian Adelma Marina Tapia Ruiz
One brother ‘fired Kalashnikov at police in 2010’
Matthew Holehouse in Brussels writes:
Belgian news website DH says that the El Bakraoui brothers “could” be the two men who fled the house in Forest during the bungled police raid last week during which police officers were shot at, thinking they were checking in on an empty safe house.
In October 2010, Ibrahim was sentenced by the Brussels criminal court for shooting at police with Kalashnikovs. DH adds that a computer was found in Montgomery district by street cleaners, said to contain Daesh material.
DH notes likeness of Laachraoui to the airport man but unable to confirm his identity. Fact he wore a hat and glasses, and was not wearing black, suggests he never planned to die.
The international manhunt for the Brussels suicide bombers’ accomplice continued on Wednesday morning as Islamic State terrorists warned of further “dark days” ahead for anyone who opposed them.
Belgium entered its second day of mourning as the first of the victims of the bomb attacks was named as Adelma Tapia Ruiz, a 27-year-old woman from Peru.
The attacks on Tuesday morning claimed the lives of 34 people and at least 198 – including two Britons – were injured.
Others have been reported missing following the double blast in the Belgian capital’s Zaventem Airport, and the subsequent explosion on a subway train at Maelbeek Metro station. Among them was Brussels commuter David Dixon, originally from Hartlepool, who failed to arrive at work on Tuesday morning.
Investigators are focusing on whether CCTV footage captured moments before the airport blasts shows two of the three suspected terrorists wearing single gloves to hide detonators. Zaventem’s mayor said the explosives were stowed in their luggage and detonated before reaching the security gate.
The Belgian police Twitter account for appeals issued the latest photos, which also show close-ups of the two men believed to be dead, and asked for information from anyone who recognised them.
David Cameron is expected to chair a second meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee in response to the attacks, for which the Islamic State of the Iraq and the Levant has claimed responsibility.
A communique that was published in Arabic and French also threatened other countries in the anti-Isil coalition with “dark days”.
“We promise the Crusader states allied against the Islamic State with dark days, in response to their aggression against the Islamic State, and what is coming is worse and more bitter, Allah permitting,” it
It came as transport terminals across the UK and Europe ramped up security measures following in the wake of the atrocities.
The attacks, condemned as “blind, violent and cowardly” by Charles Michel, Belgian prime minister, happened four days after the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, who plotted November’s massacre in Paris. Detectives are yet to rule out a direct link between the attacks.
As night fell on Brussels, Mr Michel showed solidarity with Belgians by lighting a candle at a vigil at Place de la Bourse, the city’s stock exchange building.
He told a press conference earlier that the atrocities had killed people whose lives “were in full course”.
He said: “The lives of people who were most likely travelling without a care in the world, going to work or to school, lives that have been broken by extremism.”
King Philippe of Belgium led the calls for calm as Belgian police issued an image of the fugitive, one of three seen pushing luggage trolleys through Zaventem Airport moments before two bombs exploded.
A third bomb was deactivated at the airport hours after the initial attack – which was followed by a bomb blast on a Metro train in the city centre as terrorists inflicted a new outrage on a European capital.
Prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said the three people captured on camera at the airport were the chief suspects – with two of them “probably committing a suicide attack”.