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Two More Men Charged With Terrorism-Related Offenses Over Brussels Bombings

Brussels Airport and the city's Maelbeek metro station were attacked by suicide bombers on March 22, killing 32 people.

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Here's What's Happening:

  • ISIS claimed responsibility for terror attacks at two crowded commuter hubs in Belgium on March 22.
  • Two suicide bombs were detonated at Brussels Airport ​in Zaventem. About an hour later there was a blast on a rush-hour subway car as it pulled away from Maelbeek metro station, just steps away from the European Union headquarters.
  • Authorities said 32 people died as a result of the attacks (excluding the three suicide bombers) and at least 340 people were injured.
  • The attackers initially planned to strike the day after Easter — but the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, who is a key suspect in the November attacks in Paris, caused them to move up the timeline, BuzzFeed News first reported.
  • Several suspects have been identified, including Belgian brothers Ibrahim and Khalid el-Bakraoui. Ibrahim is thought to have detonated a bomb at the airport, Khalid at the subway station.
  • Najim Laachraoui, also Belgian, was an airport suicide bomber.
  • On April 8, Belgian authorities said they had arrested two men: Mohamed Abrini in connection with the earlier attacks in Paris, and Osama Krayem.
  • On April 9, authorities charged Abrini and "Osama. K", as well as two other men, with terrorism offenses. Abrini also confessed to being the so-called "man in hat," filmed alongside the other airport suicide bombers.
  • On April 10, prosecutors said the Brussels cell had initially planned on launching another attack in France.
  • On April 12, two more men — identified as Smaïl F. and Ibrahim F. — were charged with terrorism offenses.
  • Here is everything we know about the suspects. Here is a list of the victims.

Updates

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Three detained in Brussels with suspected connection to Paris attacks released without charge.

Three people with alleged connections to the November Paris attack were arrested in Brussels on Tuesday, according to the Belgian Federal Prosecutor's office. They were picked up after the search in the Uccle neighborhood.

On Wednesday, the prosecutor's office released another statement saying they had been released without charge.

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Belgian authorities charge two more people with terrorism offenses after Brussels attack

Prosecutors in Belgium charged two men with terrorism offenses related to last month's bombings in Brussels on Monday.

In a statement released Tuesday morning, the Belgian federal prosecutor's office identified the men as Smaïl F. and Ibrahim F. The statement read:

Yesterday, the Investigating Judge specialized in terrorism cases who is in charge of the investigation into the Brussels and Zaventem attacks of last March 22, has put into custody Smaïl F., born in 1984, and Ibrahim F., born in 1988.

They are charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist group, terrorist murders and attempts to commit terrorist murders, as a perpetrator, co-perpetrator or accomplice.

There are indications they can be linked to the rental of the address Avenue des Casernes in Etterbeek. In the current state of the investigation which is continuing actively, day and night, no further information whatsoever can be released.
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The terrorist cell that killed 32 people in Brussels had initially planned on launching another attack in France, Belgian prosecutors said Sunday.

The attackers who struck the Belgian capital on March 22 were "surprised by the speed of the progress in the ongoing investigation," Belgium's federal prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Raids and arrests by authorities, including taking Paris fugitive Salah Abdeslam into custody, convinced the attackers to rush attacks in Brussels, prosecutors said.

Authorities have already established multiple links between the Brussels cell and the ISIS-linked attack that killed 130 people in Paris in November.

"The Federal Prosecution Office can confirm that numerous elements in the investigation have shown that the terrorist group initially had the intention to strike in France again," prosecutors said. "Eventually, surprised by the speed of the progress in the ongoing investigation, they urgently took the decision to strike in Brussels."

A former French intelligence officer told the New York Times the intended targets in Paris were La Défense, a large commercial district to the northwest of the city center, and an unidentified Catholic association.

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Belgian authorities identify third airport suspect as Mohamed Abrini

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Two and a half weeks after the Brussels terrorist attacks, Belgian authorities on Saturday confirmed they had captured the third suspect sought in connection with the bombings at the city's airport.

Mohamed Abrini, who was arrested Friday and charged with terrorism offenses on Saturday, admitted to being the so-called "man in the hat" spotted on surveillance footage with the other bombers prior to the blasts.

In a statement, Belgium's federal prosecutor's office said Saturday it had confirmed his identify based on a confession.

"After being confronted with the results of the different expert examinations, he confessed his presence at the crime scene," the statement read. "He explained having thrown away his vest in a garbage bin and having sold his hat afterwards."

Belgian police had released a number of images and surveillance video of the suspect in a bid to identify him.

#Terrorisme #VIDEO suspect à identifier https://t.co/rYdyrBSJqF

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Belgian authorities charge four men with terrorism offenses

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Salah Abdeslam, left, a suspect in the Paris attack, and Mohammed Abrini, right, who was captured on April 8.

Mohamed Abrini, a suspect in the Paris terrorist attacks, and three other men were placed in detention by a Belgian judge on Saturday and charged with terrorism offenses.

Abrini, who was one of several people detained during a raid on Friday, was one of Europe's most-wanted men, suspected of driving assailants during November's Paris attacks.

In a statement, the Belgian federal prosecutor's office said Abrini was "charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist group and terrorist murders."

Two other people arrested alongside Abrini were released, authorities said.

The prosecutor's office added that it was still too early to say whether Abrini was the third suspect (the so-called man in the hat) sought in connection with the attack on Brussels airport.

Authorities said they had also charged an Osama K., believed to be Osama Krayem, with the same terrorism offenses as Abrini.

Officials said investigators were able "to formally identify Osama K. as being the second person present at the attacks on the Maelbeek subway station. Thus, he was also present in the City2 shopping mall when purchasing the bags that were used later in the attacks."

A Rwandan man, Hervé B.M., arrested alongside Osama K., was also charged with the same terrorism offenses, with authorities saying he is suspected of having provided assistance to Abrini and Osama K.

A fourth man arrested Friday night, Bilal E.M., was also charged with belonging to a terrorist group and "terrorist murders." — David Mack

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Belgian prosecutors said they are still working to verify if Mohamed Abrini, a suspect in the Paris terrorist attacks, could also be the mysterious "man in the hat" wanted in the bombing of the Zaventern airport in Brussels.

Abrini was one of five people detained during a raid Friday, ending an international manhunt that began when authorities said he was linked to the Nov. 13 Paris attacks.

On Friday, Belgian authorities said they were investigating whether Abrini might have been the third suspect captured on video moments before the bombing attacks in Brussels, the Associated Press reported, wearing a hat and accompanied by two other men.

"We are investigating if Abrini can be identified as the third person at the Brussels national airport, the so-called man with the hat," prosecutor Eric Van de Sypt said.

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Belgian authorities told CNN Friday they arrested Mohamed Abrini — wanted for driving the assailants in the Paris terror attacks and Osama Krayem.

Eric Van der Sypt, a spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor's officesaid Abrini, 31, is Belgian-Moroccan and was one of the most wanted men in Europe.

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Belgian authorities on Thursday released a video showing a suspect, identified as "man in hat," whom they believe worked with the suicide bombers in the March 22 attack that killed a total of 32 people.

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Authorities also made an appeal to the public to contact police if they had any information about the man.

The footage shows the man, who wears a dark-colored hat, blue shirt, white jacket (which he at some point removed) and brown shoes, in various locations throughout Brussels between 7:58 a.m. and 9:50 a.m. on March 22.

Belgian Federal Prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt said that authorities were particularly interested in hearing from people who may have captured the man in a photo or video, according to the Associated Press.

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The first passenger flight since the terrorist attacks has left Brussels Airport.

Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP

Three Brussels Airlines planes stand at departure gates at Brussels Airport ready to leave Sunday.

The first passenger flight since the March 22 suicide bombings has taken off from Brussels Airport.

Three passenger flights are scheduled to depart the airport Sunday. Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist said the three flights were "a sign of hope" that even partial passenger service could resume so soon following "the darkest days in the history of aviation in Belgium."

The first plane to leave will travel to the Portuguese city of Faro. The other two flights are to Athens and Turin in Italy.

1st passenger plane back at #brusselsairport, saluted by emergency services. Welcome back @FlyingBrussels

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Brussels Airport is scheduled to partially re-open on Sunday with its first flights at the terminal since the March 22 terrorist attacks, the airport CEO said Saturday.

Speaking to reporters in the Belgian capital, Arnaud Feist said three flights from Brussels Airlines, the country's main carrier, are expected run on Sunday as part of extremely limited service.

"We have consciously opted for a limited offer that can evolve gradually over time," he said.

Full passenger service will be restored by June or July in time for the European summer crowds, he said

An initial analysis of the damage to Brussels Airport found that the terminal building's structure was stable in the aftermath of the deadly suicide bombings.

Watch the press conference here:

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Another man has been charged with terrorism offenses by Belgian authorities.

The Belgian prosecutor has confirmed a Belgian man, known only as Y.A., has been charged with participating in a terrorist group.

The man was arrested as part of the investigation that led to the arrest of Reda Kriket in Argenteuil in France last month.

Kriket, who is French, was said to be in the final stages of plotting an attack in France when he was arrested.

The Belgian national, who was born on May 4, 1982, has been put in custody by an investigating judge.

He has been charged with participation to the activities of a terrorist group.

The Belgian prosecutor declined to provide any further information.

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Police strike delays Brussels airport reopening.

No flights till 1 April included. Awaiting decision authorities on final date for restart. We're operationally ready to resume flights.

Members of Belgium's largest police union said Friday they'd gone on strike at the Brussels airport to protest what they said were unsafe working conditions, the BBC reported.

The labor action will delay the airport's reopening, which had been scheduled for Friday afternoon.

"We are on strike because of what happened on 22 March - we cannot continue as if this day has not happened," Vincent Gilles, the union's president, told the British broadcaster. "The police feel the security measures put in place by the airport company are insufficient for those who work and use the airport."

The union's demands include the installation of metal detectors outside the building, to prevent people from bringing explosives into the terminals. The Belgian authorities have opposed such measures, arguing that they would create unnecessary longer waiting times.

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FBI told Dutch investigators el-Bakraoui brothers were wanted a week before the Brussels attacks.

A Dutch minister has confirmed Dutch investigations were tipped off that the Brussels attackers Ibrahim and Khalid el-Bakraoui were wanted for their "radical and terrorist background" by the FBI.

The FBI told Dutch authorities the two brothers were wanted less than a week before they blew themselves up, the Associated Press reported.

Ard van der Steur, the Dutch interior minister, was responding to questions about the brothers in Parliament when he revealed the authorities had been tipped off.

BuzzFeed News revealed Ibrahim was deported to the Netherlands from Turkey in July 2015, a month after being picked up by Turkish police near the Syrian border.

But the Netherlands said that when he arrived his name did not appear on any wanted lists and he was not detained.

"On 16 March, the FBI informed Dutch police … that both brothers were sought by Belgian authorities," van der Steur said in a letter to Dutch MPs.

Van der Steur said the FBI told the Dutch authorities that Ibrahim was sought by the Belgian authorities for "his criminal background", while Khalid was wanted for "terrorism, extremism and recruitment".

The timing of the note and why it was sent to the Dutch by the FBI has not been detailed.

Belgian authorities said Tuesday they were not informed of the note and had no idea where the El Bakroaui brothers were before the Brussels bombings.

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A detailed file containing a floor plan and photographs of the Belgian Prime Minister's office were found on a laptop discarded by one of the Brussels attacks bombers, Belgian media report.

The De Tijd and L'Echo newspapers reported "reliable sources" had told them the computer contained information about Rue de la Loi 16 and the prime minister's official residence in Lambermont Street.

The computer was found during raids on Rue Max Roos in the Schaerbeek section of Brussels just hours after the attacks on March 22.

A Belgian official familiar with the investigation confirmed the reports to the New York Times.

Investigators also found the will of one of the bombers, Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, on the same computer.

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Death toll in Brussels attacks revised to 32 people

All 32 victims of the Brussels attacks have been identified, authorities said Tuesday.

Belgian authorities had previously said there were 35 victims, not including the suicide bombers. On Tuesday, with each identity officially determined, authorities said several people had been counted twice on different lists.

Of the dead, 17 were Belgians and 15 were foreigners. Ninety people remained hospitalized in Belgium, many in intensive care or receiving burn treatment.

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Authorities release man due to lack of evidence, continue search for third airport suspect

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A man widely thought to have been the third airport suspect in Brussels' terrorist attacks was released by authorities on Monday due to a lack of evidence, Belgian's federal prosecutor announced.

In a surprise move, the man, known only as Fayçal C, was released because the "clues that led to the arrest...were not reinforced by the evolution of the current investigation," police said in a statement.

Belgian media had widely reported Fayçal C was the man captured on surveillance video wearing a hat and walking with the other airport bombers prior to the deadly blasts.

On Saturday, authorities said Fayçal C was being held on charges of participating in a terrorist group, terrorist murder, and attempted terrorist murder.

In a new statement on Monday, police posted a fresh appeal to identify the man in the video, who authorities have said left behind a suitcase containing a large explosive device.

"Police are looking to identify this man," authorities said Monday. "He is suspected of having committed the attack at the Zaventem airport on Tuesday March 22, 2016."

#Terrorisme #VIDEO suspect à identifier https://t.co/rYdyrBSJqF

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Belgian police continue to appeal for information on third suspect seen at Brussels Airport

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Belgian police have issued another appeal for information to find the third man pictured in CCTV footage at Brussels Airport along with the two suicide bombers who died in the attack.

Police believe the man, who was wearing a hat and a light-colored jacket, fled the airport after his explosives failed to detonate.

He remains on the run and has yet to be publicly identified by authorities.

#Terrorisme #VIDEO suspect à identifier https://t.co/rYdyrBSJqF

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Four more Brussels attacks victims die in hospital

Belgium's Health Minister Maggie De Block confirmed Monday morning that the death toll from the attacks has risen again to 35 (excluding the attackers).

She tweeted that a further four victims had died in hospital overnight.

Four patients deceased in hospital. Medical teams did all possible. Total victims: 35. Courage to all the families. #BrusselsAttacks

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Belgian prosecutors charged three more with terrorist offenses

Belgian prosecutors have ordered three men, arrested during raids Sunday, be charged with participating in a terrorist group.

In a statement released Monday morning, prosecutors named the suspects as Yassine A, Mohamed B, and Aboubaker O.

A fourth person has been released without charge, according to the statement.

The men were arrested following 13 raids in Brussels and the northern cities of Mechelen and Duffel early Sunday.

The federal prosecutor's office said Sunday the raids were linked to a "federal case regarding terrorism" but did not specify whether they were directly connected to the Brussels attacks.

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Belgian authorities have now identified 28 of 32 victims

Belgian authorities have released another update on the death toll from last week's attacks.

A total of 31 people died in the attacks (excluding the three suicide bombers) and 28 of them have been identified so far.

In the attacks on Brussels Airport, 15 victims has been formally identified. Six were Belgian and the others were American, Dutch, Swedish, German, French, and Chinese.

In the attack on the Maelbeek subway, 13 victims has been formally identified. Ten of them were Belgian and the others were citizens of Sweden, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

The statement from authorities confirmed three families were still waiting the results of DNA tests before formal identification could be made.

Four patients deceased in hospital. Medical teams did all possible. Total victims: 35. Courage to all the families. #BrusselsAttacks

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Four Americans died in the Brussels attacks, State Department confirms

The deaths of two additional Americans in last week's attacks were confirmed on Sunday, a State Department official told BuzzFeed News.

Information on their identities was not immediately released. The State Department offered condolences to their families, and the U.S. embassy in Brussels was providing them assistance.

Previously, two other Americans had been identified among the victims. Justin and Stephanie Shults, a husband and wife who had moved to Brussels in 2014, died in the blast at the airport.

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Dutch police arrest terror suspect sought by France

Acting at the request of French authorities, police in the Netherlands on Sunday arrested a man suspected of being involved in planning a terrorist attack.

In an online statement, the Dutch prosecutor's office announced authorities had detained the unnamed 32-year-old Frenchman in the city of Rotterdam.

French authorities had sought the man's arrest on Friday.

A 43-year-old man and a 47-year-old man were also arrested in the raid, as was as a third suspect, who has not been identified.

Nearby houses have been evacuated as police search the premises.

"The arrested Frenchman is expected to soon be handed over to France," authorities said.

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Right wing demonstrators turned a peaceful memorial gathering in central Brussels into a tense protest Sunday, culminating in the use of water cannons.

Hundreds were gathered in Place de la Bourse to pay their respects to the victims of last week's attacks, when dozens of men – some in balaklavas and ski masks, others with shaved heads – burst onto the steps of the nearby stock exchange.

Riot police right now pushing far right protestors out of Place de la Bourse #BrusselsAttacks #bruxelles

The self-declared fascists trampled flowers, candles, and photographs laid our for the victims of Tuesday's attacks. They also began yelling at Muslims present in the crowd of mourners, and chanting, the BBC reported.

Plainclothes police who were already present at the scene were quickly joined by a riot squad. They aimed water cannons at the the right wing protestors causing them to flee the scene as the original mourners cheered.

The self-declared fascists tramples flowers, candles, and photographs laid our for the victims and began yelling at Muslims present in the crowd of mourners, and chanting, the BBC reported.

Plainclothes police who were already present at the scene were quickly joined by a riot squad. They aimed water cannons at the the right wing protestors causing them to flee the scene as the original mourners cheered.

The men, all dressed in black, called themselves "hooligans" and told press they were asking for answers from the government about how so many "fanatics" were allowed in their country.

Belgium's interior minister Jan Jambon had asked to residents not to gather in Brussels in solidarity with the victims, due to how thinly Belgian security services were being stretched across the country at that time.

"We understand fully the emotions," Jambon told reporters. "We understand that everyone wants to express these feelings," but appealed to them for their safety to remain dispersed.

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Belgian police have conducted raids in Brussels and two other Belgian cities, detaining nine people, the Associated Press reports.

Four of the people detained remain in custody, while five others were released after questioning.

The federal prosecutor's office said the raids were linked to a "federal case regarding terrorism" but did not specify whether they were directly connected to the Brussels attacks.

The 13 raids happened in Brussels and the northern cities of Mechelen and Duffel early Sunday.

An investigating judge will decide later Sunday whether to keep the four new suspects in custody.

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An initial analysis of the damage to Brussels Airport found that the terminal building's structure is stable.

The report, based on investigation by a team of engineers and other experts, was released on Saturday. No stability issues were found related to the terminal building, and the adjacent buildings also appeared to be usable.

The results mean that airport officials can now consider installing temporary check-in desks for travelers, a critical part of reopening for business. Airport officials said they were working with airlines and luggage handlers to determine next steps.

In the meantime, the airport remains open through Sunday to passengers who had left their vehicles or luggage on the premises. Most of the 6,000 cars parked at the airport have been collected, officials said.

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Obama calls for international partnership, American unity to fight ISIS

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In his weekly address on Saturday, President Barack Obama described his commitment to defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and preventing further terrorist attacks in Belgium, the U.S., and around the world.

Obama said he had offered a "full array of support" to Belgian authorities as they investigate last week's attacks, including sending an FBI team to the country and increasing intelligence sharing.

"When it comes to our friends, America has their back, especially as we fight the scourge of terrorism," he said.

Obama added that only a global coalition would be able to defeat ISIS, and the U.S. would continue to lead in diplomacy and military partnerships.

He also called on Americans to remain unified against terrorist threats — only by rejecting attempts to stigmatize American Muslims would the U.S. defeat the hateful propaganda of ISIS, he said.

"Such attempts are contrary to our character, to our values, to our history as a nation built around the idea of religious freedom," he said. "It's also counterproductive. It plays right into the hands of the terrorists who want to turn us against each other."

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In their first detailed breakdown of the number of dead and injured from Tuesday's attacks, Belgian officials said Saturday that 28 people were killed by the three suicide bombers.

In a post on the Crisis Center website, officials said some 24 victims have been formally identified, authorities said, including 13 Belgians and 11 foreigners of eight different nationalities.

"The authorities wish to bring certainty to the victims' loved ones as soon as possible," officials said. That is why [victim identification experts] are working intensely. The [officials] want to be 100% and do not make mistakes in this area."

Of those identified, officials said 14 people were killed in the airport attack and 10 in the subway blast.

Officials also said 340 people were injured in the attacks, with 101 people still in hospital.

Of those still being treated for injuries at 33 different medical sites, 62 people are in intensive care, while 32 others are being treated in specialized burn centers.

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Organizers postponed a "March Against Fear" rally scheduled for Sunday, after the Belgian Interior Minister asked them to reschedule the demonstration, citing security concerns.

"We invite the citizens tomorrow to not have this demonstration," Interior Minister Jan Jambon said Saturday, according to the Associated Press, adding that Brussels remains on high alert.

The march was scheduled to take place from the Place de la Bourse in Brussels to the city's Gare du Nord train station.

Brussels mayor Yvan Mayeur said police need to focus their time on the investigation following the attacks, and that it would be best to delay the march.

"Let us allow the security services to do their work and that the march, which we too want to take part in, be delayed for several weeks," Mayeur said.

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Belgian prosecutors charge three with terrorism offenses.

Belgian federal prosecutors said Saturday they had charged three men with terrorism offenses in connection with the Brussels attacks and another foiled plot.

One of the men, named as Fayçal C, has been charged with participation in a terrorist group, terrorist murder, and attempted terrorist murder. Le Soir reported that Fayçal C was one of three people arrested Thursday evening outside the offices of the federal prosecutor.

Another man, named as as Aboubakar A, was also charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist group. Aboubakar A was arrested in a car in a different area of Brussels Thursday night.

Belgian police also made arrests on Friday in Argenteuil on the outskirts of Paris relating to an alleged foiled terror plot in France.

One man, Rabah N, has been charged with participating in terrorist activities in relation to the Paris investigation, the prosecutor said.

Belgian media have reported that Fayçal C is the man in the hat pictured in CCTV footage from the airport who fled after the attack. It has been reported his full name was Fayçal Cheffou.

This has not been confirmed by authorities, who say the identification of the man from the airport has yet to be discovered.

A man who was shot and arrested at a tram stop in Schaerbeek in Brussels on Friday continues to be held for questioning. He was named by the prosecutor as Abderamane A.

NOTE: This post has been update clarify the third prosecution.

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Brussels Airport to remain closed until March 29.

Brussels Airport will remain closed to passenger flights until at least Tuesday, Mach 29, the airport said Saturday morning.

Posting on Twitter, the airport said customers with flights booked to or from Brussels should contact their airlines to reschedule.

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The two brothers who detonated suicide bombs and died in the Brussels attacks Tuesday are believed to have also conducted surveillance of a Belgian nuclear facility and high-ranking official.

The New York Times reported in February that video obtained from the home of a suspect in the Paris terror attack showed a Belgium nuclear official under surveillance by the network of ISIS fighters.

Although the nuclear official was not identified, the country's Agency for Nuclear Control told NBC News it was one of its top researchers. The video appeared to have been recorded by a hidden camera that was picked up by two people at different times.

A private consulting firm CEO hired to investigate plots against Europe's nuclear sites told NBC the video had been recorded by Khalid and Ibrahim El Bakraoui, the brothers been behind the attacks on Brussels' airport and subway system.

The revelation that the El Bakraoui brothers were conducting surveillance of a nuclear facility has raised concerns that the terrorist cell behind the Paris and Brussels attacks also had aspirations of conducting some sort of a nuclear attack.

In the days since the attack in Brussels, security has been tightened at the country's nuclear facilities and several workers have been denied entry to the sites.

"In recent days, several people have been refused access to the nuclear sites," Nele Scheerlinck, a spokeswoman for the country's nuclear control agency, told Sky News.

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Mariah Carey announced Friday her concert in Brussels has been cancelled in the wake of the terrorist bombings.

Carey, who is currently on her "Sweet Sweet Factory" tour, was scheduled to perform in Brussels on Sunday.

"At this time I am being advised to cancel my show for the safety of my fans, my band, my crew and everyone involved with the tour," she said on Twitter.

I love my fans in Brussels and at this time I am being advised to cancel my show for the safety of my fans, my band, crew and everyone...

...involved with the tour. I hope to see you soon and send my prayers and eternal love, laughter and light to my Lambs.

Carey is scheduled to continue her tour throughout Europe until April 23, when she performs in Amsterdam before heading to Johannesburg.

There was no immediate word on whether the Brussels concert would be rescheduled.

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The Belgian authorities on Friday confirmed that one of the Brussels attackers was involved in building some of the bombs used last year in Paris, the New York Times reported.

Several outlets had previously reported that Najim Laacrhaoui — a 24-year-old Belgian citizen who is believed to have travelled to Syria in 2013 — had participated in both the Paris and the Brussels attacks, but the link had not been established officially.

Prosecutors have said that Laachraoui blew himself up at the Brussels airport, a day after the police asked the public to find him. His DNA had been found in some of the explosive devices used in Paris, as well as in a number of safe-houses used by Salah Abdeslam.

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Belgian minister says Salah Abdeslam is no longer cooperating with investigators

Belgian Justice Minister Koen Greens said Friday that Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving suspect in last year's attacks in Paris, is no longer cooperating with investigators, Le Monde reported.

On Thursday, Belgian sources told BuzzFeed News that investigators believe Abdeslam agreed to cooperate with the authorities to send a message to the remaining members of his cell urging them to move up the date of the attack.

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Three arrests made in Brussels linked to Paris attacks

Belgian prosecutors confirmed to BuzzFeed News that three arrests were made in Brussels as part of the investigation into the Paris attacks.

Prosecutors said that a direct link to the Brussels attackers has not been confirmed but is under investigation.

The Belgian authorities identified two of those arrested as Tawfik A. and Salah A, Reuters reported. They did not identify the third person.

—Mitch Prothero in Brussels

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Police arrest a total of 10 suspects in three countries in relation to Brussels attacks

Police have arrested a total of 10 people in the days after the Brussels attacks, uncovering what they say are international connections that stretch across three countries.

As of Friday, seven people had been arrested in Brussels, one in Paris, and two in Germany, the BBC reported.

Three of those arrested in Belgium had connections to Reda Kriket, the French arrestee, who was said to be in the final stages of plotting an attack, according to Belgian prosecutors.

One of the people arrested in Germany was caught after an ID check near a railroad station, Der Spiegel reported. His cellphone was said to contain a text message from one of the el-Bakraoui brothers.

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Belgian prosecutors confirm Paris bombmaker was second suicide bomber at Brussels airport

Belgian officials on Friday confirmed that Najim Laachraoui was the second suicide bomber in this week's attack at the Brussels airport, Reuters reported.

Earlier reports stated that Laachraoui had participated in the attack, but had survived after leaving the scene without detonating his suicide vest. Prosecutors have now confirmed that the terrorist died.

Laachraoui is believed to have travelled to Syria in 2013. His DNA was found on some of the bombs used during last year's attacks in Paris.

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One person shot in police operation in Brussels

A suspect has been shot in Brussels in the neighborhood of Schaerbeek, where the Brussels attackers were at one point hiding out.

Belgian media reported a man had been shot and wounded in the right leg and taken into police custody. Photos from the scene appear to show a man lying on the ground at a tram stop with police pointing weapons at him. Video footage also shows the suspect being removed by police.

A witness to the operation told CNN: "He had a rifle with him in the metro underground … he was there and he came out, he had some rifle with him. He was shot by police."

Schaerbeek Mayor Bernard Clerfayt told broadcaster RTBF the operation was complete and one person was injured and arrested. He said the arrested individual was linked to Brussels attacks, but that has not been confirmed.

In another image the bomb squad with a robot are seen working at an apartment in the nearby area.

This video, shared by LaMeuse.be, shows the suspect being take away by police.

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Another person shared an image of the robot:

#Schaerbeek #Meiser Robot en vadrouille. Une bombe quelque part? 😥

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Brussels police failed to communicate on critical Abdeslam tip

Flemish newspaper De Morgen reported that police in Mechelen — a district on outskirts of Brussels — failed to pass along a critical information to other Belgian police authorities that Salah Abdeslam's relative had appeared increasingly radicalized.

Abdeslam was arrested at the home of that same relative last Friday in Brussels' Molenbeek neighborhood.

Mechelen's police chief, Yves Bogaerts, confirmed the mistake in a press conference.

"Unfortunately, a mistake has been made within my team," he said, according to De Morgen. "A colleague with an excellent record of service forgot to pass on the information from [Abdeslam's] file."

BuzzFeed News confirmed the lapse. Police didn't return a request for comment.

There is a large police bureaucracy is Brussels — there are 19 separate municipal police districts along with four administrative police zones.

Abdeslam appears to have fled to the unidentified relative's home last week after police raided a safe house in the Forrest neighborhood last Tuesday. —Mitch Prothero in Brussels

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At least two Americans have been confirmed killed in the Brussels attacks, the Associated Press reported Friday quoting a U.S. official. They have not been named publicly.

Meanwhile, speaking after meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel in Brussels, John Kerry said the "United States is praying and grieving with you for the loved ones of those cruelly taken from us, including Americans, and for the many who were injured in these despicable attacks."

Kerry did not provide details on the citizens but a senior official said the families of two Americans had been informed of their deaths in Tuesday's attacks.

"The United States stands firmly with Belgium and with the nations of Europe in the face of this tragedy."

"We — all of us representing countless nationalities — have a message for those who inspired or carried out the attacks here or in Paris, or Ankara, or Tunis, or San Bernardino, or elsewhere: We will not be intimidated. We will not be deterred. We will come back with greater resolve — with greater strength — and we will not rest until we have eliminated your nihilistic beliefs and cowardice from the face of the Earth."

Michel thanked Kerry for his visit: "It is very important for us today to receive your support."

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Brussels.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Brussels Friday morning for counter-terrorism talks with EU and Belgian officials, the Associated Press reports.

Kerry landed at Brussels Airport, which remains closed after Tuesday's attacks, for a short and last-minute trip from Moscow.

On his five-hour visit Kerry will meet with European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders as well as Belgium's King Philippe.

He is also lay a wreath at a memorial site for victims of the attacks.

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Hundreds of Europeans who fought alongside ISIS in Syria and Iraq have returned to a continent officials say lacks the resources to monitor them all.

The returning fighters are an increasing challenge to security and intelligence officials who believe recent terror attacks in Paris and Brussels are part of a continuing effort by ISIS to keep launching deadly attacks inside Europe, officials told BuzzFeed News.

Between 4,000 to 6,000 people from European countries have traveled to fight in Syria, Iraq, and Libya, and roughly 10% are believed to have returned, many bringing with them deadly expertise in weapons, explosives, and an extremist ideology that has already been spreading within European borders.

"Those people that have been traveling there two, three, four years ago, they are absolutely trained and ready to fight," French Senator Nathalie Goulet, who co-heads a commission to track jihadis, told BuzzFeed News. "For us, it's a new threat."

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Belgian authorities in January issued an international "red notice" for one of the suicide bombers in Tuesday's terrorist attacks in Brussels, a senior Turkish official told BuzzFeed News.

Red notices are a sort of international "wanted" poster that countries can issue to request help from Interpol and other nations in finding priority targets.

Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, who blew himself up Tuesday morning in the departure hall at Brussels Airport, along with a second suicide bomber, was the subject of the red notice, the official told BuzzFeed News.

Ibrahim's brother, Khalid, was also the subject of a different, earlier Interpol red notice for terrorism, and was wanted on a criminal warrant for violating his probation.

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Six people arrested in Brussels raids in connection with Tuesday's attack

Operación ahora en marcha en el barrio de Schaerbeek. Bruselas. Hemos oido una detonación a unas 4 manzanas.

Six people were arrested Thursday night in Brussels following a large-scale police operation, Reuters reported.

The operations included raids of homes in the neighborhood of Schaerbeek.

A spokesman for the federal prosecutor said three of the men had been arrested in front of the prosecutor's offices, AFP reported. More details about the arrests as well as whether the men would be formally charged was expected Friday.

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France's interior minister on Thursday announced the arrest of a man in the "advanced stages" of planning another terrorist attack.

After weeks of investigation, officers raided a building in the northwestern suburb of Argenteuil, and arrested one French citizen, Bernard Cazeneuve said. Authorities believe they have now foiled the attack, Cazenueve added.

The arrest did not immediately appear to be linked to the earlier attacks in Paris or Brussels, he said.

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Speaking on Flemish television on Thursday, two Belgian leaders admitted for the first time that their government had made serious errors in the months and weeks leading to this week's terrorist attacks, the New York Times reported.

"What's essential in the story is that with the passing on of the information from Turkey and with the passing on of the information within Belgium, we have been slower than one could have expected under those circumstances," said Interior Minister Jan Jambon, according to the Times. "So, the information was passed on, but we have not been diligent, or probably not diligent enough."

Both Interpol and Turkey had warned Belgium that at least some of the attackers had ties to terrorism. Belgian officials, however, declined to take action, saying the attackers were only common criminals.

Both Jambon and Justice Minister Koen Green have offered their resignations, but as of Thursday they remained on their posts.

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Brother of Brussels attacker condemns him

Mourand Laachraoui, the brother of Najim Laachraoui, issued a statement on Thursday condemning his brothers actions, Le Monde reported.

Mourand wrote that he "fervently condemns his brothers actions as well as the attacks in which he was involved, in France and in Belgium," adding that he has "had no contact with his brother after he departed for Syria" in 2013.

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Dutch Justice Minister Ard van der Steur on Thursday denied that Turkey had warned his country of Ibrahim el-Bakraoui's ties to terrorism when he was deported last year, the Associated Press reported.

El-Bakraoui, who was Belgian, was deported to the Netherlands at his own request. Turkey allows citizens of the European Union to pick the country to which they are sent.

In a letter to the Dutch parliament, Van der Steur said the Netherlands were not given any reason to detain el-Bakraoui and that his name had not appeared in any of the country's security databases.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had earlier said that his government warned both the Dutch and the Belgian government's about el-Bakraoui's involvement with ISIS. A senior Turkish official who declined to be named told BuzzFeed News that the Belgians acknowledged receipt of the warning, but declined to take any action.

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First on BuzzFeed News: Sources say Belgium attackers originally planned to strike the day after Easter

BRUSSELS — The attackers who bombed a Brussels airport and metro station initially intended to unleash their plot the day after Easter, but moved up the date following the arrest of Paris plotter Salah Abdeslam, a Belgian police official and a medical worker present at his treatment for a gunshot wound have told BuzzFeed News.

The two sources familiar with Abdeslam's arrest last Friday now believe his initial statement to investigators — saying other plots were underway and that he would fight extradition to France — was in fact a warning that another attack was imminent. It is unclear whether the same targets hit Tuesday were the original focus of the plan.

"He was talking openly to investigators about an attack planned for next Monday," said one police official. "Now we suspect that when his attorney announced that he was cooperating with police, it was a warning to the rest of the cell to move up the date of the operation."

"He was talking about a new operation," said the medical source, who was present while Abdeslam was treated for the gunshot wound to the leg he received during his capture. "It was almost like he was bragging to the hospital staff and police about how important he was."

Citing Belgium's strict privacy laws, both sources refused to be identified on the record.
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The former leader of Belgium Elio di Rupo has called for a special commission of inquiry to investigate how the attacks happened.

"Les victimes & familles des victimes ont le droit de comprendre. 1 commission d’enquête devra faire toute la lumière" #hommage #Bruxelles

He told the parliamentary chamber that "victims and families of the victims have the right to understand."

"An inquiry will get to the bottom of this," he said.

The social democrat, who was Belgian's prime minister between 2011 and 2014 and remains leader of the country's opposition party PS, also said the country's security needed to be improved through better investment in the police, justice, defense, and intelligence services.

It follows reports that Washington's frustration with Belgian authorities grew in recent months, according to Reuters. A number of U.S. government sources said security officials faced difficulties exchanging information with their Belgian counterparts, and had expressed confusion over which department was handling individual aspects of the mounting number of cases.

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Since the airport attack on Tuesday, around 500 stranded passengers have been stranded at a warehouse in Leuven, 23km to the east. But on Thursday, they were finally able to leave as the operation began to transfer them to Amsterdam by bus, reports BuzzFeed News' Rossalyn Warren.

Jet Airways – which was responsible for the majority of remaining stranded people as it had four planes arrive in Brussels on Tuesday morning, from Newark, Toronto, Mumbai, and Delhi – confirmed it was shuttling stranded travellers on 15 buses from Brussels to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.

A statement from the airline said: "Our guests are currently on their way from Brussels to Amsterdam by road transport. They are being accompanied by Jet Airways staff. The airline has made hotel arrangements in Amsterdam for their overnight stay, before they continue onward journey to their destination."

Passengers who survived the terror attacks in the airport were relieved to be finally en route home after a turbulent few days.

"After being in a freezing warehouse with not enough food for everyone I am finally home with my dad," Malua Rixen, one of the stranded passengers, told BuzzFeed News. "Dad and I are safe – he was also so lucky as he was at the metro station where the bomb went off just 10 minutes before, as his office is right above the station. But I can't complain – I thank god we are OK."

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Khalid el-Bakraoui had an accomplice at the subway station

Officials are certain there was a second attacker with Khalid el-Bakraoui at the metro station but it's not clear whether or not he survived the blast, according to the federal magistrate's office for Brussels.

Coroners are working to identify the victims but the process is expected to take some time due to the condition of the remains. DNA testing will have to be done in order to positively identify the badly damaged bodies, a Belgian terrorism expert who has spoken with government officials told BuzzFeed News.

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Suspected Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam will be extradited to France, says lawyer

Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP / Getty Images

Sven Mary, Salah Abdeslam's lawyer, arrives to the Council Chamber of Brussels.

Abdeslam, who was charged with "terrorist murder" over his alleged involvement in the Paris attacks following his capture in Brussels on March 18, previously indicated he would fight the extradition order.

But his lawyer, Sven Mary, told local media outside the court on Thursday his client had changed his mind and would no longer fight the extraction.

He said his client wished to return to France to "explain himself" and will travel "as soon as possible." Abdeslam has not spoken to investigators since the attacks on Tuesday.

Intense security outside the Council Chamber of Brussels greeted the arrival of the26-year-old's lawyer. Abdeslam himself was not glimpsed by reporters outside the court, but Reuters reported he briefly appeared in court.

Amid Aberkan, a relative who is accused of sheltering him, and another man, also appeared in court alongside Abdeslam.

The identity of the second man remains unclear. He has used a number of alias, among them Amine Choukri, Monir Ahmed Alaaj and Soufien Ayari, the New York Times reported.

All three men, who were arrested last Friday during a raid on a property in Molenbeek, were remanded in custody until April 7, The Guardian reported.

Last week, the Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said, in the worst case scenario, it would take three months to return Abdeslam to France.

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Flights to and from Brussels airport continue to be suspended.

There will be no passenger flights into and out of #brusselsairport today Thursday 24 March & tomorrow Friday 25 March. Contact your airline

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More than 60 people remain in critical condition in hospital, Belgian's Health Minister Maggie de Block said in a statement on Wednesday night.

Four of these individuals were in comas, hampering the Belgian authority's efforts to identify victims of the two attacks on Tuesday.

Block said of about 300 people wounded — across 40 nationalities — 61 were in "intensive care" and being treated at several hospitals, most with highly specialised burn units, in nine provinces across Belgian.

Many were suffering from "war injuries" with burns and shrapnel wounds, she said.

Her comments were echoed by Jacques Creteur, head of the intensive care unit at Erasmus hospital, which is treating many of the wounded. "It's the kind of trauma seen in war," he told AFP.

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Videos from inside Brussels Airport and the subway capture the aftermath of the attacks

View this video on YouTube

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Multiple videos recorded inside Brussels Airport and the city's busy subway system captured the devastating aftermath after bombs ripped through the Belgian capital on Tuesday.

Screams and crying are heard shortly after the blasts, and people can be seen getting up from the ground and hurriedly trying to make their way out of the smoke-filled airport.

Some travelers appear to remain on the ground, immobile and possibly injured.

"Stay down, stay down," one person could be heard saying in the airport as debris covers the ground and signs appear mangled from the blasts.

In another video, a person is heard trying to reassure people, saying, "It's OK, it's OK, it's OK."

View this video on YouTube

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Another video, obtained by CNN from a taxi driver who had entered the airport looking for his son, shows haunting images of a fire still burning from the explosion and a toddler crying on the floor next to the body of a woman.

In the footage, people can be heard screaming in the distance, and pools of blood can be seen on the floor, covered in rubble.

First responders are also seen tending to the wounded.

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Survivors of the Brussels Airport bombing are unsure just when they'll be able to finally go home, trapped in a defiant city and unsure of what's next.

Hundreds have been stranded at the Brabanthal warehouse, normally used for storing goods due for export, for more than 24 hours as they, along with the wider city, try to make sense of the twin attacks that struck Brussels on Tuesday, killing at least 31 people and injuring at least 200 more. All were inside the departures terminal at Brussels airport when the bombers struck.

They had been due to board flights to cities as far afield as New Delhi, Houston, London, and Detroit. But for many in the warehouse, relief at escaping the terror attacks unhurt was being replaced by growing frustration at being stranded with no access to their personal belongings, showers, or information on how long they'd be forced to stay.

BuzzFeed News spoke to stranded passengers in the warehouse, which has taken on the feel of a hectic departures lounge.

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The State Department on Wednesday said an unknown number of Americans remain unaccounted for in the wake of the terror attacks in Brussels, but cautioned that officials are still in the process of assessing the impact of the bombings.

"‎We must emphasize that a number of U.S. citizens remain unaccounted for and the Kingdom of Belgium has not yet released nationality information for reported fatalities," Mark Toner, a deputy spokesman for the State Department, told BuzzFeed News. "Our own internal U.S. government accountability is ongoing, and we are making every effort to account for the welfare of both Chief of Mission personnel and U.S. citizens in the city."

About a dozen U.S. citizens were injured in the attacks, but so far, there were no known deaths, he added.

Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters Wednesday after briefings with intelligence officials that it appeared the attackers had targeted Americans. He noted that one blast at Brussels Airport was close to counters for U.S.-based airlines and that the explosion on the subway was close to the U.S. embassy.

"If you are going to pick some locations where you might hit Americans, those would be the locations," he said.

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Investigators now believe that Najim Laachraoui, a 24-year-old Belgian citizen who is believed to have helped build the bombs used in Paris, was the second suicide bomber at the Brussels international airport, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

Prosecutors have identified the other suicide bomber as Ibrahim el-Bakraoui. A third unidentified bomber is believed to have fled the airport without detonating his explosives and is thought to remain on the run.

Laachraoui, who is believed to have travelled with Salah Abdeslam before and after the Paris attacks, was previously reported to have been the surviving airport attacker. But Le Monde is now reporting that the suspected bombmaker's DNA has led investigators to believe that he died in the attack.

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Turkey Official Says Belgium Was Warned Of Suspected Attacker's Terror Links

A senior Turkish official told BuzzFeed News that Turkish authorities warned Belgium that Ibrahim el-Bakraoui had links to ISIS as early as this summer but the Belgians declined to act.

After being detained in the city of Gaziantep, near the Turkey-Syria border, Ibrahim el-Bakraoui was sent to the Netherlands rather than to Belgium at his request, the senior official said, saying that Turkey allowed EU citizens to choose the country to which they will be deported.

The official said that on July 7 and July 14, the Turkish government notified the Belgians of its belief that el-Bakraoui had links to terrorism. Belgium replied on July 20, the official said, saying that they had detained him earlier but had released him for lack of evidence.

The official said that Turkey wrote back to Belgium to insist that el-Bakraoui was considered a foreign fighter with links to Syria. He said that his government was considering releasing the diplomatic notes between the two countries, but were holding back out of respect for the people of Belgium.

"This is a time for solidarity," the official said, "not the blame game."
—Borzou Daragahi

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Hillary Clinton denounced the policies proposed by Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz on how to combat ISIS calling their proposals dangerous.

Clinton spoke at Stanford University Wednesday afternoon, a day after the terror attacks in Brussels.

Following yesterday's attacks, which killed at least 31, Cruz called for police to patrol Muslim neighborhoods – a tactic Clinton described as "wrong. It is counterproductive. It is dangerous."

Clinton said that fighting ISIS will be the most important task for the commander in chief and highlighted ways to work with international allies to defeat the terrorists.

"Now it's our turn to stand with Europe," She said. "We cherish the same values and face the same adversaries so we must share the same determination."

Clinton also took aim at Trump's foreign policy, including his suggestion to build a wall at the U.S. border.

"How high does [the wall] have to be to keep the internet out," Clinton asked referring to ISIS's reliance on the internet to recruit members.

Clinton said that the United States needs its allies more than ever now.

"If Mr. Trump gets his way, it will be like Christmas in the Kremlin," she said.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that one of the Brussels attackers was captured in Turkey back in June and deported, but was eventually released.

According to an official in the president's office, Ibrahim el-Bakraoui was captured near the Turkish-Syrian border and deported to the Netherlands, the AP reported. Erdogan initially said that the attacker had been turned over to Belgian authorities, but that was later corrected.

Although Turkish authorities had warned both Belgian and Dutch authorities that the attacker was "a foreign fighter," el-Bakraoui was later released.

"Despite our warnings that this person was a foreign terrorist fighter, Belgium could not establish any links with terrorism," Erdogan said Wednesday, according to the AP.

El-Bakraoui, 29, died Tuesday after detonating a suicide bomb at the Brussels airport.

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Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Brussels on Friday to offer his condolences in the wake of Tuesday's attacks, according to his spokesman John Kirby. Kerry is currently in Moscow where he is focusing on issues surrounding Syria and Ukraine.

BREAKING: Secretary of State John Kerry to travel to Brussels on Friday to express condolences.

.@JohnKerry will travel to #Brussels on Friday to express condolences for loss of life in terrorist attacks & meet w/ Belgian, EU officials.

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BuzzFeed News' Ryan Broderick reported live from Place de la Bourse in Brussels, Belgium.

Facebook: ryanpatrickbroderick

I'll be streaming live from Place de la Bourse in #Brussels on the @BuzzFeedNews Facebook in 10 minutes. Definitely check it out.

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Khalid el-Bakraoui, one of the brothers named by the Belgian prosecutor as being a suicide bomber during the attacks, was the subject of an Interpol wanted notice, the New York Times revealed.

The "red notice" alert, which was published on the Interpol website in 2015, said Khalid was wanted in Belgium on terrorism charges.

The notice said he was born on Jan. 12, 1989 and spoke French and Arabic. It said he was of Belgian and Bahamian nationality.

The Times reported that his brother Ibrahim did not appear on the Interpol website.

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Belgium's Federal Prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw has just given a live press conference in French.

He said the death toll is at 31 and 260 people have been injured.

He confirmed Ibrahim el-Bakraoui was pictured in the middle of the CCTV footage released by police and his brother Khalid was the bomber at Maelbeek Metro.

Here is what he said according to a Sky News translation:

A photo showing the three suspects has been issued and one of them has been identified as Ibrahim el-Bakraoui with fingerprints. The second one on left has not been identified.

"The third man in a hat has not been identified and is still on the run, his bomb did not explode and contained the biggest charge.

"A taxi driver told police he took the three people to the airport and we went to the address in Schaerbeek and found 30 liters of oxygenated water and a case full of nails and equipment for bomb making.

"Investigators also found a computer containing the will of Brahim. One person was brought in for questioning from Schaerbeek last night and is now being investigated by police. Another was brought in and freed shortly are being interrogated.

The explosion in Maelbeek happened within the second branch of the track and this was a question of Khalid el-Bakraoui — a Belgian national. Both of these people (Ibrahim and Khalid) had heavy police files, not connected with crimes they committed.

It is not desirable to give any further information at the moment.
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