Belgian Report Names Two Suspects in Brussels Bombings
A Belgian report says the police have identified by name two of the suspects in Tuesday’s bombing at the Brussels airport and a subway station which killed at least 34 people
Belgian broadcaster RTBF says brothers Khalid and Brahim el-Bakraoui are suspects in the airport bombing, with a third man still being sought.
RTBF said that the police have knowledge of the men since they have criminal records, but there was no history of terrorist activity. The report also revealed that Khalid el-Bakraoui used a fake name to rent the Brussels apartment that police raided last week, finding weapons and a fingerprint for Salah Abdeslam, the main suspect in the November 13 Paris bombings who was arrested on Friday.
Earlier today, Belgian police released a photo of a wanted suspect in the Brussels bombings.
The photograph taken from closed circuit television shows a man wearing a black hat, a light-colored jacket and sunglasses, pushing an airport luggage cart alongside the two men who are suspected to have been the suicide bombers. Authorities say the wanted man fled the airport.
Police have also found a bomb, chemicals and an Islamic State flag during a raid on a house in a Brussels neighborhood while searching for the suspect.
A third unexploded bomb and at least one Kalashnikov rifle were discovered at the airport.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s massacre.
Two bombs exploded at the airport and a suicide bomber blew himself up one hour later at the Maelbeek subway station, near European Union headquarters in downtown Brussels.
More than 200 people have been injured and Belgium’s terror alert is at maximum level.
“This is a black moment in our country… everyone please be calm and show solidarity,” Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told reporters.
U.S. President Barack Obama, who was in Havana, Cuba, said, “We will do whatever is necessary for our friend Belgium to bring those who are responsible to justice.” He said the U.S. stands in solidarity with Belgium “for the outrageous attacks against innocent people.”
Later he spoke with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel on phone offering his condolences on behalf of the American people. The White House says he reaffirmed the United States’ “steadfast support” for Belgium and offered assistance investigating the attacks and bringing the perpetrators to justice.
At least nine Americans are among the injured, including one Air Force service member. Obama has given orders that flags be lowered to half-staff on U.S. government buildings.
Hundreds of Belgians lit candles and carried flowers to a nighttime vigil Tuesday night at the Place de la Bourse in central Brussels.
Videos showed people running out of the Zaventem airport in Brussels as the two blasts shattered the massive windows, leaving glass and tile scattered on the airport floor. People can be heard wailing and calling for help.
Cameras also captured a similar horrific scene at the Maelbeek subway station where victims came into the streets with burns and wounds.
All flights in and out of the Brussels airport were canceled Tuesday and the entire subway system was shut down.
The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning to American citizens throughout Europe, warning them to be cautious at sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and on transportation. It also advised taking particular care at large festivals and on religious holidays.
Authorities in Frankfurt, London, Paris and the Netherlands have boosted security at their airports in response to the Brussels’ bombing. There is so far no direct link to the November terrorist attacks in Paris, also claimed by Islamic State.
A major suspect in the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, was arrested in Brussels last week.