Brussels Terrorists ID'd as Brothers UPDATE: Second Airport Bomber Was ISIS Bombmaker

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Mar 23, 2016 5:06 AM
Brussels Terrorists ID'd as Brothers UPDATE: Second Airport Bomber Was ISIS Bombmaker

UPDATE: 

Arab and European intelligence officials have identified Najim Laachraoui as the second airport suicide bomber. It was also confirmed that he was an Islamic State bombmaker who was involved in November's terror attacks in Paris. Laachraoui was a Brussels resident and had a degree in mechanical engineering, Fox News reports.

Original Post: 

Belgian media reported on Wednesday that two of the Brussels suicide bombers were identified. They were named as brothers Khalid and Ibrahim El-Bakraoui, both of whom were reportedly known to police as being involved in organized crime. They also had ties to the ISIS cell that was responsible for the November terror attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. 

A third attacker, thought to be the 'Main in White' from the surveillance footage, was originally identified as Najim Laachraoui, 25, who is also linked to the Paris attacks and is believed to have been responsible for building the suicide vests used in those massacres. But at a news conference later Wednesday morning, federal prosecutor Frederic van Leeuw said the third person from the surveillance video remains unidentified and on the run.

"The third man is on the run; he left his bag with the biggest bomb in it which exploded later because it was so unstable," van Leeuw said.

The Belgian federal prosecutor, Frédéric van Leeuw, confirmed media reports that Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, 29, detonated one of two devices that exploded at Zaventem airport, killing himself and 11 others and injuring more than 90.

His younger brother Khalid, 27, was responsible for a third explosion, just over an hour later in a metro carriage at Maelbeek station on the rue de la Loi, near offices of the European commission, van Leeuw told a news conference. At least 14 people died in that attack, with more than 130 wounded.

Van Leeuw said the two airport bombs exploded within seconds of each other at 7.58am, near the check-in desks of rows 11 and two in the main departure hall. Ibrahim el-Bakraoui was identified by his fingerprints.

But two others from a group of three men caught on a CCTV camera wheeling loaded baggage trolleys across the hall have not been identified. One of these men was the second airport suicide bomber, the other a suspect who survived after leaving behind a suitcase containing a “very large explosive charge” and who is being actively sought.

Belgian media have suggested the surviving attacker was Najim Laachraoui, but reports that he had been arrested were later retracted.

This post has been updated.