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Dublin: -1°C Monday 25 January 2021

Police release Brussels bombing suspect after "suspicions not substantiated"

Meanwhile, a new video released today shows a man wanted by police walking next to two suspected suicide bombers.

POLICE IN BELGIUM have released a man who they arrested over the recent attack in Brussels.

AFP reports that Faycal Cheffou was released as the police’s “suspicions were not substantiated”.

Source: Fedpol Belgium/YouTube

Also today, they made public a new video that shows a suspected bomber at Zaventem Airport.

The video, which they shared on YouTube and their official website, shows the man, in a cream jacket and navy bucket cap, walking alongside two other men.

Police said:

Police are trying to identify the man. He is suspected of having committed the attack at Zaventem Airport Tuesday, March 22, 2016.

He is seen walking next to two men, believed to be suicide bombers, and appears to be talking to them.

Death toll

Prosecutors are still working on the theory that the third man is Faycal Cheffou, an activist who was charged on Saturday with “terrorist murder” in relation to the airport attack, a source close to the inquiry told AFP.

Cheffou is however not cooperating with investigators, the source said.

The Brussels attackers have close links to the November Paris attacks in which 130 people were killed, with bomb-maker Laachraoui’s DNA being found on some of the explosives used in France.

The video was released as Belgium raised the death toll from the Brussels attacks to 35 today.

Mourners were set to hold an Easter Monday church service in memory of the victims of the bombings at the airport and at Maalbeek metro station.

Prosecutors’ spokeswoman Ine Van Wymersch said the death toll did not include the three attackers.

We have counted today 35 victims of the attacks at Zaventem and Maalbeek. These figures include four people who died in hospital after the attacks, and 31 victims who died immediately at the scene of the crime.

Twenty-eight victims had been formally identified, she said.

Three terror charges

Belgium Attacks Source: AP/Press Association Images

Prosecutors said three men arrested at the weekend in a series of raids had been charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist group, while a fourth person had been released.

The men — identified as Yassine A, Mohamed B and Aboubaker O — were held during 13 raids in Brussels and the towns of Mechelen and Duffel.

A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office told AFP that “no direct link has been established with the Brussels attacks”.

Police arrested a 32-year-old French national in Rotterdam yesterday on suspicion of planning a terror attack, Dutch prosecutors said, following a raid carried out at the request of French authorities.

The man is thought to have been planning an attack in France in the name of the Islamic State group along with Reda Kriket, who was detained near Paris on Thursday, a French police source told AFP.

Belgian prosecutors at the weekend also charged two men with involvement in the Kriket plot, including one shot in the leg after a dramatic stand-off at a tram stop in Brussels on Friday.

Meanwhile metro bomber Khalid El Bakraoui, Ibrahim’s brother, is believed to have rented a property linked to Paris prime suspect Salah Abdeslam, who was arrested in Brussels on March 18.

Brussels Airport said it would carry out a test run tomorrow to see if the repair work in the wrecked departure hall was satisfactory, but it could not give a firm date for reopening.

- With additional reporting from © AFP, 2016

Read: Brussels bomber a ‘good student who liked to play frisbee’>

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