Belgian bombing suspect still at large, key document found

Updated: 2016-03-23 21:36

By Chris Peterson in London(

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Belgian bombing suspect still at large, key document found

An image widely published by Belgian media is said to show three men who are believed to have carried out the attack at Zaventem Airport, BBC reports.

Belgian officials said one of the men suspected of taking party in the bombing attack at Brussels Airport, which killed 31 people and injured another 261 is still at large, and named him as Najim Laacroui.

Police also found a handwritten testament, apparently from a man named as Khalid el-Bakraoui, suspected of being the suicide bomber who killed 20 commuters on a metro train some 35 minutes after the twin bomb blasts at the airport, according to state prosecutor Frederic van Leeuw.

"I don't know what to do, I am on the run, they are looking for me everywhere. If I am arrested I will end up in a cell," the note read, according to the prosecutor.

The BBC said if the document was verified, it would show a link between the airport attack and the metro bombing, and that the police were already hunting him.

Laacroui was one of three men seen on a security camera film from the airport; two men, one identified by the prosecutor as Brahim el-Bakraoui, brother of the metro bomber, blew themselves up, and were known to police. The video showed them wearing a single black glove each, which police suspected concealed detonator devices.

The third man, identified as Najim Laacroui, was on the run after abandoning the suitcase carrying the bomb. It was later exploded because it was unstable and police had already cleared the area, van Leeuw said.

Police raids uncovered an apartment containing liquid gas, nails, detonators and other bomb-making material, the prosecutor said, adding that it was during one of the raids that the written document attributed to el-Bakraoui was found.

Van Leeuw also said a taxi-driver had come forward who carried the three men to the airport. When they reached the drop-off point, the three refused to allow him to handle their baggage, preferring to unload the cases themselves.

In the UK, Home Secretary Theresa May said the security level remained at 'Severe', which indicated an international terror attack was likely but not imminent.

She told the House of Commons that British police and counter-intelligence specialists had been deployed in Belgium and France as a result of last year's attacks in France.

The UK government was spending an extra 2.6 billion pounds on its intelligence and security services in the next four years, and 1,500 extra staff were being recruited for the main intelligence services, MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

In the meantime the UK Foreign Office issued advice to travellers to avoid going to Belgium unless their journey was absolutely necessary, an unusual move against a fellow EU member.

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