London: A terror suspect arrested earlier this week by Belgian authorities in connection with the attack on Brussels airport last month was scouting for possible targets in the UK last year, a media report here said on Sunday.
Mohamed Abrini, who has been described as the "man in the hat" airport bomber after his image was caught on CCTV at Brussels airport, had spent about a week in Britain in July 2015.
According to 'The Sunday Times', 31-year-old Belgian of Moroccan origin came to Britain to look for potential targets for a "vast" jihadist network.
Images including railway stations and shopping centres were allegedly found on his phone.
Abrini was seen on CCTV before and after the attack on Brussels airport on March 22 and captured in Brussels on Friday after an international hunt.
"We confronted him with the video evidence. He had to admit it was him," a police spokesperson said.
Belgian prosecutors have said Abrini had also told police that he threw the white jacket that he was also wearing at the time of the attack into a rubbish bin and had sold the hat.
A statement said, "He [Abrini] is indeed the third man present at the Brussels national airport attacks. He explained having thrown away his vest [jacket] in a garbage bin and having sold his hat afterwards."
Abrini's fingerprints and DNA were found in a Renault Clio used in the attacks in Paris in November as well as inside an apartment in the Schaerbeek neighbourhood of Brussels used by the airport bombers.