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- Reuters UKBelgian police were hunting on Thursday for a "third man" filmed with two Islamic State suicide bombers at Brussels Airport as investigators accumulated evidence that the same jihadist network was involved in the deadly Paris attacks last November.
- by Reuters_LindaNoakes via Fingfx.thomsonreuters 3/24/2016 11:44:54 AM
- Brussels airport says no flights before Monday at earliest
- Candles in Belgian national colours burn at a street memorial outside the Maalbeek subway station following Tuesday's bombings in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
- Attorney General Lynch: No specific threats against U.S. after Brussels blastU.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Thursday the United States has received no specific, credible threats following the Brussels attacks on Tuesday but that Justice Department officials remain vigilant and in contact with their Belgian counterparts."We are committed to providing any and all assistance as we move forward together," Lynch said at a news conference."We will continue to remain vigilant in order to insure that we can keep the American people safe from harm."
- Suicide bomber Laachraoui was model student at Brussels Catholic schoolBrussels suicide bomber Najim Laachraoui, a veteran Islamist fighter in Syria also suspected of making explosive belts for November's Paris attacks, was a model student in a Brussels Catholic high school, the school's director told Reuters.Security sources told local media that Laachraoui, a 25-year-old Belgian, was one of Tuesday's airport suicide bombers, identifying him as one of the three men in the CCTV image released by police."Najim Laachraoui was a very good student," said Veronica Pellegrini, the director of the Institut de la Sainte Famille d'Helmet, a Catholic school in the ethnically mixed east Brussels borough of Schaerbeek."He never failed a class," Pellegrini said of Laachraoui, who studied at the school for six years, until graduating in 2009. "We haven't heard from him since," she told Reuters in a phone interview.Prosecutors said Laachraoui's DNA was found in houses used by the Paris attackers last year. He left Brussels for Syria in February 2013. Local media have said he has technical training that could mean he was the armourer of the operation.Travelling under the false name Soufiane Kayal, he was documented driving from Hungary into Austria in September in a car driven by Salah Abdeslam, the prime suspect in the Paris attacks who was arrested in Brussels last week.There is speculation Laachraoui had just returned from Syria, possibly by sea with refugees.Catholic religion classes are part of the school's curricula for all students independent of their religion, and Laachraoui would have attended those classes as any other student, Pellegrini said.While the school offers technical studies in fields such as chemistry, and Belgian media say Laachraoui had studied electromechanics, Pellegrini said he did not take such courses in her school, where he only pursued general studies.The school's motto is a verse from the Bible (John 3:14–18): "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other... Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth."It is not uncommon for Muslim pupils in Belgium to go to Catholic schools, which can be seen as more conservative or more exclusive than state schools.The Paris attacks' suspected mastermind, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian killed during a raid in Paris suburb St Denis on Nov. 18, had at 12 won a scholarship to an elite Catholic school.
- Islamic State video calls for jihad after Brussels blastsIslamic State released a video on social media on Thursday calling on its followers to claim victory and wage jihad after deadly blasts in Brussels this week that the group said it had carried out.In the footage, Islamic State noted that Belgium was part of a coalition fighting militants in the Middle East.It featured the training of Belgian militants suspected in the Nov. 13 shooting and suicide bombing rampage by Islamic State that killed 130 people in Paris."The crusaders aircrafts, including Belgium’s, continue to bomb Muslims in Iraq and the Levant in the night and day," said the video."Every Muslim who is well aware of the history of Islam, knows that the holy war against infidels is an integral part of Islam, and those who read history would know."Islamic State controls large parts of Iraq and Syria and has a presence in Libya and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
The Belgian flag flies at half mast on the facade of the parliament building followingTuesday's bombings in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
Belgian troops control a road leading to Zaventem airport following Tuesday's airport bombings in Brussels, Belgium, March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
- Reuters UKThe taxi driver who drove the Brussels suicide bombers to the airport was not allowed to touch their explosives-laden bags and they sat in silence during the journey, Belgian newspaper DH reported citing unidentified sources.
- Islamic State video calls for jihad after Brussels blasts
Islamic State released a video on social media on Thursday calling on its followers to claim victory and wage jihad after deadly blasts in Brussels this week that the group said it had carried out.
In the footage, Islamic State noted that Belgium was part of the coalition fighting militants in the Middle East.
It featured the training of Belgian militants suspected in the Nov. 13 shooting and suicide bombing rampage by Islamic State that killed 130 people in Paris.
- Belgium confirms Brussels metro bomber's link to Paris attacks
Belgian prosecutors confirmed on Thursday they issued an international arrest warrant in December for one of two brothers blamed for deadly bomb blasts in Brussels this week because he was wanted in connection with last year's Paris attacks.
Khalid El Bakraoui, 27, blew himself up on a crowded rush hour train in Brussels on Tuesday, prosecutors have said.
They confirmed in a statement on Thursday that he was previously suspected of using a false identity to rent a property in the Belgian city of Charleroi, which was used as a safe house by members of an Islamist cell that carried out the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that killed 130 people.
Belgian police searched the property on Dec. 9 and issued an international arrest warrant for Bakraoui on Dec. 11. His details and photo appear on a list of wanted people on the website of Interpol.
Prosecutors say his brother Ibrahim, 29, had been one of two men who blew themselves up at Brussels airport in the coordinated attacks on Tuesday.
The attorney for Saleh Abdeslam, the Paris shooting suspect who was arrested in Brussels last week, says his client wants to go back to France to explain himself.
- ReutersSalah Abdeslam, the prime surviving suspect in November's Paris attacks, will no longer fight extradition to France as he had vowed to do but instead now wants to return to "explain himself", his lawyer said on Thursday.
- Belgian interior minister offered resignation over attacks - media
Belgian Interior Minster Jan Jambon has offered his resignation over the Brussels attacks but it was rejected by Prime Minister Charles Michel, Belgian media said on Thursday.
Belgian authorities are facing embarrassment after Turkey said on Wednesday that last year Ankara expelled back to Europe Ibrahim El Bakraoui, one of the suicide bombers who carried out the attacks on Tuesday, and warned Belgium he was a militant.
"Belgium ignored our warning that this person is a foreign fighter," President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday
- Paris attacks suspect unaware of Brussels bombings - lawyer
Salah Abdeslam, the prime surviving suspect in November's Paris attacks, was not aware of the plan to attack Brussels airport and metro, according to his lawyer.
The multiple bombings in Brussels on Tuesday, which killed at least 31 people and wounded 300, were carried out by men linked to Abdeslam, according to prosecutors.
Abdeslam was arrested last Friday, three days before the attacks.
"He was not aware," several Belgian media outlets quoted Sven Mary as saying on Thursday.
- Brussels Airlines restarts flights as airlines scramble to reroute
Brussels Airlines is restarting some commercial flights from Belgium on Thursday, using the airports of Liege and Antwerp, while its main hub in the Belgian capital remains closed following Tuesday's attacks.
Belgian police were hunting on Thursday for a "third man" filmed with two Islamic State suicide bombers at Brussels Zaventem Airport as evidence accumulated that the same jihadist network was involved in the deadly Paris attacks last November.
The airport, which serves over 23 million passengers a year, remains closed until further notice, forcing airlines to scramble to reroute over the busy Easter weekend.
- by Reuters_LindaNoakes via Fingfx.thomsonreuters 3/24/2016 11:45:00 AM
- Turkish government official says one of the Brussels attackers, Ibrahim el Bakraoui, entered Turkey a second time and was deported again in August 2051 .
- Reuters UKSalah Abdeslam, the prime surviving suspect in November's Paris attacks, will no longer fight extradition to France as he had vowed to do but instead now wants to return to "explain himself", his lawyer said on Thursday.
- Masked Belgian police secure the area around the Palais de Justice courthouse in Brussels
- ReutersShortly after last November’s attacks on Paris by a Brussels-based Islamic State cell, a top U.S. counter-terrorism official traveling in Europe wanted to visit Brussels to learn more about the investigation.
- Paris attacks suspect Abdeslam wants to return to France 'As quickly as possible' according to lawyer on BFM TV
- Reuters UKOne of the attackers in the Brussels suicide bombings was deported last year from Turkey, and Belgium subsequently ignored a warning that the man was a militant, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.
A large crowd gathers in central Brussels to pay tribute to the victims of the deadliest attacks in Belgium's history
- ReutersBelgium's chief prosecutor named two brothers on Wednesday as Islamic State suicide bombers who killed at least 31 people in the most deadly attacks in Brussels' history but said another key suspect was on the run.
Belgian flags seen at a street memorial service near the old stock exchange in Brussels following Tuesday's bomb attacks in Brussels. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
A woman attends a street memorial service in Brussels following Tuesday's bomb attacks in Brussels. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
People attend a street memorial service near the old stock exchange in Brussels following Tuesday's bomb attacks in Brussels. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
Over several days of raids, Belgian prosecutors have been uncovering a web of interconnected people and safe houses that seem to tie the Brussels bombings to last year’s assault on Paris and several other attacks.
- Brussels airport to remain closed on Friday: Belga news agency
- What we know:- Belgian police are hunting a suspect named as Najim Laachraoui, already sought as his DNA had been found in houses used by the Paris attackers last year.- In two attacks yesterday at Brussels' Zaventem airport and the city's metro, at least 30 people were killed and more than 200 injured. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks.- Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw confirmed today that two brothers carried out suicide bombings. He said Khalid El Bakraoui blew himself up on a carriage of the metro and that airport bomber Ibrahim El Bakraoui had left a will on a computer.- Following a lock down in the city, many services are expected to reopen today but Brussels Airport has said that there will be no passenger flights into or out of the airport today or tomorrow.
- BREAKING: Second Brussels suicide bomber identified as Najim Laachraoui: local newspaper
- Turkish presidency says El Bakraoui was later released by Belgian authorities as "no links with terrorism" found.
- Staff members at Brussels national airport stand outside the terminal in remembrance following yesterday's bomb attacks in the Belgium capital:REUTERS/Geert Vanden Wijngaert
- BREAKING: Militant detained by Turkey in June 2015 identified as Ibrahim El Bakraoui: Turkish presidency
- Broken windows of the terminal at Brussels national airport are seen the day after attacks in the Zaventem airport and Brussels metro. REUTERS/Yorick Jansens
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ISTANBUL An assailant attempted to shoot a prominent Turkish journalist on Friday outside an Istanbul courthouse as he awaited the verdict in his trial on charges of revealing state secrets.