Daily Management Review

Key Suspects of Paris & Brussels Attacks Captured by Belgian Security Forces


Key Suspects of Paris & Brussels Attacks Captured by Belgian Security Forces
As operations go on to track down militants who have fought with or take direction from leaders in Syria, Belgian police detained two key suspects on Friday in the Islamic State attacks on Paris and Brussels.
Prosecutors said that a Belgian, Mohamed Abrini, who is believed to have helped in the preparation of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks and shooting in Paris that killed 130 people, was held with two others. Police is trying to confirm whether he was also the same man who was seen in the hat at the Brussels airport suicide bombing on March 22.
Aged 31, Abrini was long known to police for petty crimes and was caught close to the Brussels borough of Molenbeek.
A Swede named Osama Krayem according to the local media was captured earlier by police and who was named only as Osama K. by prosecutors. Krayem was detained with another man. He was among those checked by German police in October using a fake Syrian passport in a car rented by Salah Abdeslam, prime surviving suspect in the Paris attacks, prosecutors said. Abdeslam was detained in Brussels three weeks ago.
It is suspected that Krayem was seen on CCTV footage at the Brussels airport on the day of the bombings.

Belgian security services, which have faced fierce criticism at home and abroad since Brussels-based militants organized the attacks in Paris sees the arrests as a a signal success. The Belgian security services were also criticized for not being  up to  the mark for tackling the attack in the Belgian capital that killed 32 people, four days after the arrest of Salah Abdeslam.
Interior Minister Jan Jambon tweeted congratulations to those involved in the arrests, as did the Belgian head of state, King Philippe. Jambon had offered to resign over the failure to arrest one of the Brussels suicide bombers last year.
"The struggle against terrorism goes on," Jambon said even as the arrests brought in no change in the national security alert level. Police searched premises in western Brussels late on Friday.
Hundreds of young men who have traveled to Syria and with chequered criminal histories and residents of the country's substantial Moroccan immigrant community have posed a threat to Belgium. Belgium has the biggest contingent of Islamist foreign fighters with a size of its 11 million population.
New images of "the man in the hat" seen on airport cameras walking through the terminal with Brahim El Bakraoui and Najim Laachraoui were released by the police a day before the arrests were made.
The last couple of men had been involved in the detonation of the bombs that they were carrying in their luggage while the man in the hat was seen abandoning his bomb and was tracked walking for miles on CCTV back from the airport into the city. The face of the man was hidden by glasses and a floppy hat.
Shortly before El Bakraoui's younger brother Khalid blew himself up on a train at Maelbeek station, he was seen with a man at a Brussels metro stop. Police are also hunting of this man.
Local media reported that Krayem had arrived back in Europe from Syria last September on a refugee boat that landed on the Greek island of Leros, off the Turkish coast and was using a Syrian passport in the name of Naim Al Ahmed.

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