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Belgian prosecutor confirms second airport suicide bomber was Najim Laachraoui

Najim Laachraoui, wanted in connection with November's Paris attacks, has been identified as the second suicide bomber at Brussels airport.

Najim Laachraoui, wanted in connection with November’s Paris attacks, has been identified as the second suicide bomber at Brussels airport by Belgian prosecutors.

On Wednesday, he been identified by multiple media organizations from across the world, citing unnamed sources, but confirmation only came on Friday.

Foreign Policy reports that Laachraoui’s identity was confirmed using DNA found on explosives at the airport.

Najim Laachraoui
Najim Laachraoui

He had previously been identified by the media as the man who escaped from Brussels airport after his device failed to explode. On Wednesday, Belgian media incorrectly reported that Laachraoui had been arrested in Anderlecht.

On Monday, Belgian prosecutors said DNA had identified 24-year-old Laachraoui as a suspected accomplice in the Paris attacks. He was previously sought under the alias Soufiane Kayal.

Laachraoui’s DNA was reported to have been found on explosive belts, and at safe houses in Auvelais and Schaerbeek that were used to prepare explosives and hide fugitive Salah Abdeslam.

He was one of two men who were with Abdeslam on September 9, crossing the border between Hungary and Austria.

He is suspected to have been the bombmaker who supplied devices for the November 2015 attacks on Paris which killed 130 people.

A CCTV image of suspects in the Brussels airport attack. Belgian police accidentally released the image.
A CCTV image of suspects in the Brussels airport attack.

Najim Laachraoui was initially believed to be the man pictured on the right in CCTV images from the airport that were released on Tuesday. It is believed that this man’s bomb did not detonate and he fled the scene. He is still at large.

Laachraoui is now believed to be the man on the left in the image.

The man in the centre has been identified as Ibrahim El Bakraoui, one of two brothers who carried out suicide attacks in Brussels.

Two Brussels bombers named as brothers Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui

Federal prosecutor Frédéric van Leeuw in statement identified two brothers who bombed the airport and metro train. Ibrahim El Bakraoui was one of the suicide bombers at Brussels Zaventem International Airport. His brother Khalid blew himself up on a carriage of the Brussels metro at Maalbeek station, Van Leeuw said.

The two explosions at Zaventem airport and another explosion at Maalbeek metro station on Tuesday morning killed at least 31 people and injured around 300.

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