New Brussels suspect hunted
Man who fled airport as suicide bombers struck is identified
Belgian prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for a new suspect in the attacks on the Brussels airport and subway as authorities moved to clean up damage caused by the explosions.
The federal prosecutor's office said yesterday that a warrant has been issued for a man only identified as Faycal C. He is wanted for “involvement in a terrorist group, terrorist killings and attempted terrorist killings,” the statement said. A raid was conducted at his home, but no arms or explosives were found, prosecutors said. Belgian media reported that a man called Faycal Cheffou has been identified as the man suspected of fleeing Brussels airport after two alleged accomplices blew themselves up there.
The developments came as Brussels airport officials moved to assess the damage caused by twin explosions at the terminal last Tuesday.
The move also came as the country’s interior minister appealed to Brussels residents not to rally today in solidarity for the victims of Tuesday's attacks, saying police are too stretched.
Interior Minister Jan Jambon said he was not demanding that the rally be cancelled, although he “invited citizens not to have this demonstration.”
He said: “We understand fully the emotions. We understand that everyone wants to express these feelings.”
A man has been cleared of inciting racial hatred on Twitter after the bombings in Brussels.
Matthew Doyle of south London had been scheduled for a court hearing yesterday because of anti-Muslim tweets.
The 46-year-old was charged on Friday, but a police statement later said Doyle “is no longer charged with the offence and will not be appearing in court.”
The statement hinted that police may have overstepped their authority: “Police may not make charging decisions on offences under Section 19 of the Public Order Act,” it said.
Under British law, cases involving “incitement of racial hatred” have to be reviewed by specialist lawyers and approved by the Crown Prosecution Service.
British law protects free speech but does not allow incitement of racial hatred. The dividing line can be difficult to draw as stirring up racial “tensions” is permissible but provoking racial “hatred” is not.
Doyle’s tweets the day after the Brussels attacks claimed 31 lives described how he confronted a Muslim woman in south London about the carnage.
When she told him the attacks had nothing to do with her, he criticised her response as “mealy-mouthed”. He later used an anti-Muslim slur to describe her.
His tweets drew wide attention and were mocked by many.