Two brothers behind Belgian terror attacks

Two brothers behind Belgian terror attacks

_88909832_032129731-1BRUSSELS. — Two brothers — one of whom left behind a “will” on a computer — carried out suicide bombings at Brussels airport and a metro station, which killed 31 people and injured 270, Belgium’s federal prosecutors revealed yesterday.

Ibrahim El-Bakraoui, a 30-year-old Belgian national, blew himself up at the Zaventem airport, while his brother, Khalid, detonated his explosives at the Maelbeek metro station near the EU headquarters, prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw told a Press conference in Brussels yesterday.

Ibrahim had been identified using fingerprint records, Van Leeuw said, adding a third suspect remained on the run.

No details on the third suspect were released.

A search through a garbage bin near a hideout used by the brothers revealed a computer that contained what appeared to be Ibrahim El-Bakraoui’s will, prosecutors told reporters.

The document appeared to have been written in a rush, with El-Bakraoui writing, “I don’t know what to do, hunted everywhere, no longer safe” and “I don’t want to end up in a cell next to him,” said Van Leeuw, apparently in reference to Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam who was captured by Belgian police last week.

Prosecutor Van Leeuw also referred to a CCTV image from the Zaventem airport taken shortly before the attacks, which revealed three men in the departure lounge pushing trolleys.

Ibrahim El-Bakraoui was one of them, confirmed Van Leeuw. The second bomber was not identified while the third man in the picture, wearing a light overcoat and hat, had fled from the scene and was the focus of an intense manhunt.

Police carried out several searches following the attacks, Van Leeuw said, including at an address that was given to investigators by a taxi driver who said he had driven three men to the airport Tuesday morning. Police searching the address found chemicals used to make explosives as well as a detonator and bags full of bolts and screws.

Van Leeuw also said that one person detained in one of the raids remained in custody yesterday and was being questioned, but refused to say if it was the suspect that fled the airport.

The developments in the investigation came as Belgium marks three days of national mourning for the victims of the Brussels attacks. Belgians observed a nationwide minute’s silence at noon with King Philippe, the premier and leaders of EU institutions attending an outdoor memorial event in Brussels’ European district.

While rail and metro services had resumed yesterday, the heavily damaged Zaventem airport will remain closed through today, transport officials said. — France24/AFP.

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