Third Brussels bombing suspect Najim Laachraoui arrested: Reports

Najim Laachraoui, who was on the run after yesterday's attack, was arrested in the Belgian capital, Reuters reported citing the local media.

Last Updated: Mar 23, 2016, 15:45 PM IST
Third Brussels bombing suspect Najim Laachraoui arrested: Reports

Brussels: The Belgian police on Wednesday arrested one of the three suspects who are believed to have carried out Tuesday's deadly suicide bombings at the Brussels airport, reports said.

Najim Laachraoui, who was on the run after yesterday's attack, was arrested in the Belgian capital's Anderlecht district, Reuters reported citing Belgian newspaper DH.

Apart from Najim Laachraoui, the other two suspects, who blew themselves up at the Brussels airport, were identified as brothers Khalid and Brahim El Bakraoui.

The two suicide bombers were known to the police, Belgian media said.

 

Laachraoui`s DNA had been found in houses used by the Paris attackers last year, Belgian prosecutors said on Monday, adding that he had travelled to Hungary in September with Paris attacks prime suspect Salah Abdeslam.

Captured on a security camera photograph at Brussels Airport on Tuesday morning beside the El Bakraoui brothers, Laachraoui did not detonate a bomb. A bomb was subsequently destroyed in a controlled explosion.

Khalid El Bakraoui, 27, had rented under a false name the flat in the Forest borough of the Belgian capital where police killed a gunman in a raid last week, RTBF said.

Belgian newspaper DH said the Bakraoui brothers may have fled the flat in Forest after last week`s shootout.

In the raid, investigators found an Islamic State flag, an assault rifle, detonators and a fingerprint of Abdeslam, who was arrested three days later.

 

Both brothers had criminal records, but had not been linked by the police to Islamist militants until now, RTBF said.

Brahim El Bakraoui, 30, was convicted in October 2010 for firing a Kalashnikov assault rifle at police and wounding an officer after a robbery in Brussels earlier that year. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

In 2011, his brother Khalid was given a sentence of five years for car jacking.

(With Reuters inputs)