3rd suspect in Brussels terror attacks reportedly arrested; brothers reportedly ID'd as bombers
DEVELOPING: Brussels airport bomb suspect Najim Laachraoui has been captured, according to multiple Belgian media reports. The 25-year-old reportedly was arrested in Brussels' Anderlecht district, adjacent to the Molenbeek district that has become synonymous with homegrown jihadism in Belgium.
Laachraoui had been identified as the third man seen in CCTV footage alongside two other suspected bombers, both of whom killed themselves in the Tuesday morning attacks.
At least 14 others were also killed when the blasts ripped through the airport's departure hall. Laachraoui reportedly fled the scene after his bomb failed to detonate.
Laachraoui is thought to have built the suicide vests used by the attackers who killed 130 people in Paris last Nov. 13, according to a police official who told the Associated Press that Laachraoui's DNA was found on all of them and in a Brussels apartment where they were made.
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Two brothers who had ties to the ISIS cell that carried out last November's attacks in Paris reportedly carried out Tuesday's suicide bombings that rocked Brussels.
Belgian state broadcaster RTBF, citing a police source, reported that Khalid and Ibrahim El-Bakraoui blew themselves up in a subway train and in the departure hall at the city's international airport respectively, killing at least 34 people and injuring at least 250 others.
The broadcaster had previously reported that both brothers had attacked the Zaventem airport. In light of the corrected report, the identity of a second black-clad airport suicide bomber was not immediately clear.
RTBF reported that Khalid El-Bakraoui, 27, rented an apartment in the Forest section of the city that was raided by authorities March 15. In that raid, a police sniper killed a man identified as Mohamed Belkaid, 35, an Algerian with links to ISIS. Authorities also reportedly found an ISIS flag and a Kalashnikov rifle and ammunition, as well as several detonators that may have been meant to be used in Tuesday's attacks.
The March 15 raid led to Friday's arrest of Paris attack suspect Salah Abdeslam after one of his fingerprints was discovered in the apartment. Politico Europe, citing a senior Belgian official, reported that Abdeslam was supposed to take part in Tuesday's attacks. The report did not specify what role Abdeslam would have played.
Over the weekend, Belgium's Foreign Minister disclosed that Abdeslam had been preparing further attacks, saying the suspect was "ready to restart something from Brussels."
The Guardian also reported that one of the El-Bakraoui brothers had rented a safe house in Charleroi, Belgium, that was used by Paris attackers Abdelhamid Abaaoud and Bilal Hadfi as a rendezvous point prior to the assaults that killed 130 people in the French capital. The paper also reported that one of the brothers had provided weapons and ammunition to the terrorists who attacked the Bataclan concert hall on that deadly night.
DH reported that in October 2010, Ibrahim El-Bakraoui, 30, was convicted of shooting at police with a Kalashnikov during an attempted robbery. He was sentenced to nine years in prison. In February 2011, the paper reported, Khalid El-Bakraoui was sentenced to five years' probation in connection with a string of carjackings.
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