Khalid And Ibrahim El Bakraoui Were Listed As Potential Terror Threat To U.S., Prior To Tuesday Morning’s Blasts.

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The two brothers named as the suicide bombers at the center of the Brussels airport and metro attacks this week were listed as a potential terror threat in U.S. databases, NBC News has learned.

The officials would not say on which of the many U.S. terrorism databases the brothers were listed. But the disclosure does raise questions about how Belgian authorities could describe them as petty criminals who were not on their counter-terrorism radar.

Molebeek Mayor Says Everyone Is Concerned 2:24

Congressional committees have asked U.S. intelligence agencies for an accounting of which lists the Brussels attackers were on, for how long, and whether and how the information was shared, U.S. officials told NBC News.

Belgian authorities identified Ibrahim El Bakraoui as one of the suicide bombers who attacked the airport, and his brother Khalid as the suicide bomber on the Brussels subway. The attacks killed at least 31 people and injured hundreds.ou

Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/brussels-attacks/u-s-knew-brussels-bombers-they-struck-n545051

 

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DAVID CAMERON: “UK Security Had Been Stepped Up In The Wake Of A VERY REAL TERROR THREAT Across Europe”

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David Cameron will chair an emergency meeting later to determine the UK’s response to the Brussels attacks.

Two Britons were injured in the blasts at the city’s airport and metro on Tuesday which left 34 people dead.

There are also concerns for David Dixon, an IT programmer from Nottingham, whose family said he had not been seen since the attacks.

Mr Dixon has lived in Brussels for 10 years with his partner and their young son, friends said.

He travelled to work every day on the city’s metro, but has not answered his phone or made contact since the explosions.

His partner Charlotte Sutcliffe has been driving from hospital to hospital in Brussels trying to find him.

Brussels attacks: Latest updates

Her sister Marie Sutcliffe told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Charlotte had struggled to get information because phone networks were disrupted and much of the city locked down following the attacks.

“Understandably, she is very, very distressed. Not everybody has been identified yet of the injured so it’s just waiting for that process to happen,” she said.

“It’s just waiting, which is heartbreaking and very worrying.”

Friend Simon Hartley-Jones said: “He’s a lovely guy. He’s an amazing man who deeply, deeply loves his son and we all want to find him.”

Armed police at St Pancras station, LondonImage copyrightAP
Image captionSecurity has been stepped up St Pancras Station and other UK transport hubs

Twin blasts hit Zaventem airport at about 07:00 GMT on Tuesday. Another explosion at Maelbeek metro station near EU headquarters happened an hour later.

Brussels police have issued a wanted notice for a man seen pushing a luggage trolley through the airport along with two other suspects shortly before the twin explosions.

The two other men died in the attacks after detonating suicide devices, a Belgian prosecutor said.

Anti-terror raids have taken place across Belgium. So-called Islamic State (IS) said it was behind the attacks.


More about the attacks

Brussels airport after the explosionImage copyrightPA

 

Specialist police from the UK have been sent to Brussels to help with the investigation, while the government’s emergency Cobra committee will meet for a second time on Wednesday morning to discuss UK security.

Security has been stepped up at UK ports, airports and other transport hubs, and more Border Force officers deployed to carry out checks on people and vehicles arriving.

The terror threat level has been at “severe” since August 2014, meaning an attack is highly likely.

Mr Cameron said UK authorities were continuing to review information coming in – and would raise the terror threat level if there was information of a direct threat.

Meanwhile the Foreign Office is warning Britons travelling to Brussels to be “alert and vigilant and stay away from crowded places”.

An emergency number for those worried a relative may have been affected has also been issued – 020 7008 0000.

Belgium is observing three days of mourning and a minute’s silence for the victims will be held at 11:00 GMT.

People gather and light candles at the Place de la Bourse during a vigil to pay tribute to the victims of the attacks in Brussels, Belgium. 22 March 2016Image copyrightEPA
Image captionVigils for the victims have been held in the Place de la Bourse in Brussels

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35878639

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BREAKING NEWS BRUSSELS: Brothers Khalid And Brahim El-Bakraoui Behind Airport Blast

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Two suicide bombers who attacked the international airport in Brussels have been named by as the brothers Khalid and Brahim el-Bakraoui.

The RTBF broadcaster said the pair were known to police. A third man pictured with them at the airport is still being sought.

Twin explosions at the airport and another at a metro station on Tuesday left about 34 dead and 250 wounded.

Belgium is observing three days of national mourning.

So-called Islamic State (IS) has said it was behind the attacks and warned that more would follow.

A minute’s silence for the victims will be held at midday (11:00 GMT).

Brussels attacks: Latest updates

RTBF said the brothers were known to police and had criminal records.

The broadcaster said that Khalid el-Bakraoui had used a false name to rent the flat in the Forest area of the Belgian capital where police killed a gunman in a shootout last week.

It was during that raid that police found a fingerprint of Salah Abdeslam, the main suspect in the Paris terror attacks of 13 November. He was arrested in a raid last Friday.

Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure said Khalid el-Bakraoui was being sought for terrorist activities while Ibrahim was reportedly on the run after a sentence for other criminal activity.

La Derniere Heure also said that the third man in the airport CCTV image of the three men handed out by police is Najim Laachraoui.

Laachraoui was named earlier in the week by police as a wanted accomplice of Abdeslam.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35879141

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BREAKING NEWS: Belgium Mourns Following Bomb Attacks. A Minute’s Silence For The Victims, Will Be Held At Midday (11:00 GMT)

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Three Days Of Mourning, Following Bomb Attacks That Left 34 People Dead And About 250 Wounded.

Belgium is observing three days of mourning following bomb attacks in the capital Brussels that left 34 people dead and about 250 wounded.

A minute’s silence for the victims will be held at midday (11:00 GMT).

Police are continuing a huge manhunt for a suspect caught on CCTV shortly before two bombs exploded at Zaventem airport on Tuesday morning.

An hour later another blast tore through a metro train near the Maelbeek station.

So-called Islamic State (IS) has said it was behind the attacks and warned that more would follow.


More about the attacks

Live updates

What we know so far

Why was Brussels attacked?

Crisis information

Eyewitnesses recall explosions

In pictures: Brussels explosions

Full coverage


Meanwhile, the US state department has urged US citizens of the “potential risks” of travelling to Europe.

A statement said terror groups were planning “near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants and transportation”.

Tuesday’s blasts came four days after the capture in Brussels of Salah Abdeslam who investigators say was involved in last November’s terror attacks in Paris.

Abdeslam is due to appear before a pre-trial court in Brussels on Wednesday.

Hundreds of people crowded into Place de la Bourse late into Tuesday night, lighting candles and placing flowers in a vigil for the victims of the attacks.

Many cities around the world illuminated their landmarks in the colours of the Belgian flag in a show of solidarity.

Raids took place in Brussels and across Belgium on Tuesday as anti-terror police sought those linked to the attacks.

Eiffel Tower lit up in the colours of the Belgian flag. 22 March 2016Image copyrightReuters
Image captionThe Eiffel Tower was lit up in the colours of the Belgian flag in tribute to the victims
Zaventem airport remains closed under tight security, 23 MarchImage copyrightAFP
Image captionZaventem airport remains closed under tight security

They issued a wanted notice for a man seen walking with two other suspects at the airport just before the blasts at a check-in hall.

He was pushing a luggage trolley with a suitcase thought to have contained a bomb that did not explode.

The two other men are presumed to have died after detonating suicide devices. They were wearing a black glove on the left hand, possibly to hide the devices. The third man was wearing no glove.

The explosions happened in quick succession shortly after 08:00 local time (07:00 GMT) and the other bomb was found and destroyed in a controlled detonation.

CCTV grab of suspectsImage copyrightEPA
CCTV grab of suspectsImage copyrightEPA
CCTV grab of suspectsImage copyrightEPA
Image captionImages of the three suspects. The top two are thought to have died at the airport, the third is being sought

A taxi driver who had reportedly driven the three suspects to the airport gave police an address in the Schaerbeek area of Brussels where another explosive device and an IS flag were among items recovered.

Police helicopters hovered over the city late into the night as the search operation continued.

About an hour after the airport blasts on Tuesday morning, another explosion struck the Maelbeek metro station near EU headquarters.

The cause of the blast has not been confirmed but IS said it too was a suicide bombing.

Police said about 20 people died on the metro train and about 14 at the airport.

Belgium has raised its terrorism alert to its highest level.

Transport across Brussels was paralysed after the explosions but some services later resumed. The airport is unlikely to reopen for several days.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said Tuesday was “a day of tragedy, a black day” and urged citizens to show “calmness and solidarity”.

World leaders have sent condolences and messages of solidarity.

US President Barack Obama called the blasts “outrageous attacks against innocent people” while the 28 EU leaders – in a joint statement – said the bombings were an “attack on our open, democratic society”.

Map showing where the Brussels attacks took place

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35878597

 

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BREAKING NEWS BRUSSELS [CNN LIVE]: Explosions At Zaventem Airport And Maelbeek Metro Station, Claim Multiple Casualties

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Youtube Video: Brussels Airport Explosion BREAKING NEWS Belgium Brussels bombing explosion Terrorist Suicide Attack, Started streaming on Mar 20, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Salah Abdeslam To Sue French Prosecutor For Breach Of Confidentiality

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Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam’s lawyer says he plans to take legal action against a French prosecutor for breach of confidentiality.

The Paris prosecutor told reporters that Abdeslam had admitted he wanted to blow himself up during the attacks on 13 November but then changed his mind.

The bombings and shootings, claimed by the so-called Islamic State (IS), left 130 people dead and dozens injured.

Abdeslam was arrested in Belgium last week after four months on the run.

The Belgian authorities have charged him with terrorism offences. He has decided to fight extradition to France, which could take up to three months.

Abdeslam’s Belgian lawyer, Sven Mary, says his client is co-operating with the authorities.

At a news conference in the French capital on Saturday, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins, referring to Abdeslam’s statement to Belgian police, said: “He wanted to blow himself up at the Stade de France and, I quote, backed out.”

He added that people should treat with caution initial statements by the 26-year-old French national.

Mr Mary said he would take legal action against Mr Molins for breaching the confidentiality of the investigation.

He told Belgian public broadcaster RTBF that Mr Molins’ comments at a news conference were “a violation… I cannot let it go unchallenged”.

Meanwhile, France is sending more troops to its borders after the arrest of Abdeslam.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said they would join more than 5,000 police mobilised since the attacks.

An armed French gendarme - one of a group checking vehicles and verifying the identity of travellers on the A2 motorway between Paris and Brussels, 25 January 2016.Image copyrightReuters
Image captionExtra troops and checks have been in force in France since the attacks

Interpol has urged increased border security saying suspects may seek to flee after the arrest on Friday.

Abdeslam is believed to have fled shortly after the November attacks, returning to the Molenbeek district of Brussels.

He is being held at a high-security jail in Belgium.

 

Investigators hope Abdeslam, who was shot in the leg during his arrest, will reveal more information about the IS network behind the Paris attacks, its financing and plans.

They believe he helped with logistics, including renting rooms and driving suicide bombers to the Stade de France.

The subject of a massive manhunt, Salah Abdeslam was arrested about 500m (1,600ft) from his home in Molenbeek. His brother, Brahim, was one of the Paris attackers who blew himself up.

Another man arrested at the same time as Salah Abdeslam on Friday, Monir Ahmed Alaaj, has also been charged with participation in terrorist murder and the activities of a terrorist group, the Belgian prosecutors say.

Friday’s raid also saw three members of a family detained.

They include Abid Aberkan, described as a friend of Abdeslam, who has been charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist organisation and harbouring criminals.

Another family member, identified as Djemila M, has been charged with harbouring criminals, but is not in custody, the prosecutor’s office says.

Map

The raid came after Abdeslam’s fingerprints were found in a flat in another Brussels district, Forest, raided on Tuesday.

Footage showed Abdeslam being bundled into a police car on Friday after a volley of gunfire. Alaaj was also injured during the arrests.

Prosecutors said Alaaj had travelled with Abdeslam to Germany last October, where his fingerprints were taken during an identity check.

A false Syrian passport in Alaaj’s name and Belgian identity papers under an alias were found in a flat in Forest raided on Tuesday.

Along with the Stade de France, the Paris bombings and shootings targeted the Bataclan concert hall and bars and restaurants.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35855032

 

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