Four charged over Brussels attacks

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By Catherine Hardy  with AFP, Reuters
Four charged over Brussels attacks
  • Belgium charges four with terrorist offences relating to Brussels attacks
  • Police not sure Mohammed Abrini is the “man in the hat” from Brussels airport CCTV
  • Raids ongoing across the city

The latest

Belgium’s public prosecutor has charged four people in connection with the Brussels attacks.

It comes after officers hunting those behind the Paris and Brussels attacks made a number of arrests.

Mohammed Abrini is a childhood friend of the Paris prime suspect, Salah Abdeslam.

He has been charged with being a member of a terrorist organisation and terrorist murders.

Officers now say its not clear if he was involved in last month’s bombing at Brussels Airport.

A second man, identified as Osama K, has also been charged with terrorism offences.

Also known as Naim al Hamed, officials say he is on CCTV footage from just before the metro attack on March 22.

Rwandan national Herve B.M. and a fourth man, Bilal E. M. have also been charged with taking part in a terrorist organisation and terrorist murders.

Two other people detained on Friday together with Abrini were released after being questioned.

Key arrests on Friday

The Belgian security services have faced fierce criticism at home and abroad.

Brussels-based militants organised both sets of attacks.

Per capita, Belgium has the highest number of Islamist foreign fighters in Europe.

Mohammed Abrini

  • 31
  • Arrested in Anderlecht, Brussels
  • Belgian-Moroccan national
  • Suspected of helping to prepare Nov 13 attacks in Paris
  • Prosecutors now say it is not clear if he is the “man in the hat” seen on CCTV at Brussels Airport

Abrini is a childhood friend of the prime suspect of the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam.

He was identified on CCTV footage at a motorway service station driving with suspect Salah Abdeslam toward Paris from Belgium, two days before the November 13 attacks.

Osama K

  • Swedish national Osama Krayem – local media
  • 23
  • Also known as Naïm Al Hamed.
  • Grew up in Malmö
  • Confirmed by officials as the man seen on CCTV before Brussels metro attack

What they are saying

“The struggle against terrorism goes on.” -. Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon.