23 Mar 2016

Brussels suicide bombings carried out by brothers

Two brothers carried out the suicide bombings at Brussels airport and the city’s metro, Belgium’s federal prosecutor confirms.

Ibrahim el Bakraoui, who was responsible for detonating a bomb at the airport, left a will on a computer that was found.

He is believed to have been caught on CCTV footage at the airport (picture above).

His brother Khalid blew himself up on a carriage of the Brussels metro at Maelbeek station, Frederic Van Leeuw told a news conference. The brothers were known to the police.

Two other men in the CCTV footage have yet to be identified, he said. He did not corroborate Belgian media claims that the man on the right in white (picture above) was Najim Laachraoui, who is being sought by police.

Some 32 people have been confirmed dead after yesterday’s bombings, claimed by Islamic State, and another 270 were injured.

‘On the run’

Mr Van Leeuw said Brahim el Bakraoui indicated in a note that he was “on the run”. He said: “We have found a written testament by Brahim el Bakraoui in which he said, ‘I don’t know what to do. I’m in a hurry. I’m on the run. People are looking for me everywhere. And if I give myself up then I’ll end up in a cell’.”

Police arrested a suspect in the Brussels suburb of Anderlecht this morning. Belgian television reported that the suspect was “alive but is refusing to reveal his identity, which will only be known after DNA tests are carried out”.

Two people were arrested on Tuesday night, one of whom is being questioned, while another has been released.

Laachraoui (pictured above) is suspected of having played a major role in the Paris terror attacks in November 2015. The 25-year-old is thought to be an accomplice of Paris terror suspect Salah Adbeslam, who was arrested in Brussels on Friday.

Laachraoui’s DNA is reported to have been found on “several explosive belts”, as well as in a house that was used to prepare explosives and hide Abdeslam, according to French media.

He is believed to have travelled to Hungary last year with Abdeslam and to have visited Syria in 2013.

Police are also seeking Mohamed Abrini in connection with the Paris attacks, in which 130 people were killed at the Bataclan concert hall, bars and restaurants, and the Stade de France stadium.