Brussels attack suspect on the run

Brussels attack suspect on the run

-  Two of the suicide bombers who carried out attacks in Brussels on Tuesday have been identified as brothers Khalid and Brahim el-Bakraoui

- A third suicide bomber has been identified as an alleged bomb-maker Najim Laachraoui, with one person on the run

-A note from Brahim el-Bakraoui was found in a nearby rubbish bin which says, "I'm in a hurry. I don't know what to do anymore, they're looking for me everywhere. I'm not safe anymore. If I give myself up they'll put me in a cell."

Brussels attack suspect on the run

The airport CCTV image. The man on the left has not been identified and is believed to have died. Brahim el-Bakraoui is in the middle and was also killed. The man on the right has not been identified and is on the run

Belgian investigators have named two of the suicide bombers who carried out attacks in Brussels on Tuesday as brothers Khalid and Brahim el-Bakraoui, Belgian nationals. According to the federal prosecutor, Brahim was part of the attack at Zaventem airport that killed 11 people while Khalid struck at Maelbeek metro, where 20 people were killed.

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Two others were involved in the attack at the airport. One of them, now believed to be an alleged bomb-maker Najim Laachraoui also died. The other is on the run. Najim Laachraoui was named earlier this week by police as a wanted accomplice of Abdeslam.

Analysts say Laachraoui is believed to be a key bomb maker, and French media say he also played a major role in the terror attacks in Paris.

There has been no official word yet on the identity of two other men seen, alongside Ibrahim El Bakraoui, pushing luggage carts through the Brussels Airport in a photo released by authorities Tuesday. One of those unidentified men is a presumed suicide bomber himself. The other, dressed in light-coloring clothing and a hat, is thought to have placed a bomb at the airport and then left. He's now on the run, according to Belgian federal prosecutor, Frederic Van Leeuw.

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Van Leeuw told reporters that a taxi driver said he had picked up the three men from an address in the Schaerbeek area of Brussels. This apartment was raided later on Tuesday and bomb-making materials, including 15kg  of high explosive, were found.

A note from Brahim el-Bakraoui was found in a nearby rubbish bin which says, "I'm in a hurry. I don't know what to do anymore, they're looking for me everywhere. I'm not safe anymore. If I give myself up they'll put me in a cell."

Van Leeuw said the two brothers were known to police and had criminal records. They were identified by DNA records.A police source said that Khalid el-Bakraoui, 27, had used a false name to rent the flat in the Forest area of the Belgian capital where police killed a gunman in a shootout last week.

It was during that raid that police found a fingerprint of Salah Abdeslam, the main suspect in the Paris terror attacks of 13 November. He was arrested in a raid in Brussels last Friday and is due to appear before a pre-trial court on Wednesday.

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Khalid el-Bakraoui appears on the Interpol website as being sought for terrorist activities. Turkey says Brahim was detained by Turkish officials on the border with Syria in June 2015. They deported him with the warning that he was a "foreign fighter" but the Belgian authorities let him go. Belgium has not yet responded to the claims.

Belgium is observing three days of national mourning. The nation held a minute's silence at midday on Wednesday. Belgium's king and queen have visited the airport and met some of the 300 people injured in the attacks. About 150 people remain in hospital, 61 in intensive care.  Islamic State (IS) has said it was behind the attacks.

 

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