BELGIUM HUNTS SUSPECT FILMED WITH ISLAMIC STATE BOMBERS
BRUSSELS: Belgian police were on Thursday hunting for a third man filmed with two Islamic State suicide bombers at Brussels airport as evidence piled up that the same jihadist network was involved in the deadly Paris attacks last November.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s president criticised Belgium for failing to track Brahim El Bakraoui, a convicted armed robber whom it expelled last year and who blew himself up at Brussels airport on Tuesday an hour before his brother Khalid, a fellow convict, killed about 20 people at Maelbeek metro station.
A Turkish government official said Bakraoui was deported twice from Turkey in July and August after re-entering the country. His initial deportation was based on police suspicion, conveyed to Belgian and Dutch authorities, that he was a foreign militant fighter, another official said.
Security sources told Belgian media the other suicide bomber at the airport was Najim Laachraoui, a veteran Belgian Islamist fighter in Syria suspected of making explosive belts for November’s Paris attacks.
The third suspect captured on security cameras pushing a baggage trolley into the departures hall alongside Laachraoui and Bakraoui is now the target of a police manhunt. He has not been named. The bespectacled man wearing a cream jacket and a black hat ran out of the terminal, federal prosecutors said, and a third bomb, the biggest of the three, exploded later.
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