Brussels – Belgian Media Publish Picture Of Brussels Airport Suspects; ISIS Claims Responsibility

Brussels – Belgian media published on Tuesday a security camera picture of three men they said police suspected of carrying out the bombings at Brussels airport earlier that day.

The still photograph shows young three men with dark hair, pushing laden luggage trolleys. Their identities were unknown.

Belgian federal prosecutors had asked media in a statement earlier on Tuesday not to release the picture for the good of the investigation, but it leaked on social media, the VTM broadcaster said.

A U.S. official says security officials believe at least one suitcase bomb was detonated at the Airport.

The official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the early investigations, confirmed a statement by a Brussels official that there is also concrete evidence of one suicide bombing at the airport Tuesday as well.

U.S. intelligence agencies had been on alert for possible attacks since Friday’s arrest in Belgium of accused Paris attacks conspirator Salah Abdeslam.

But the official said it was unclear if Tuesday’s bombings were already planned and set in motion by his or another existing network, or if they were a direct response to Abdeslam’s arrest.

The official said the explosives seen in Brussels on Tuesday appear sophisticated. Investigators will examine them to see if they bear the same characteristics as those used in Paris last year.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for two bomb attacks that killed at least 30 people in Brussels on Tuesday, a news agency affiliated with the group said.

“Islamic State fighters carried out a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices on Tuesday, targeting an airport and a central metro station,” the Amaq agency said.

The attacks on Brussels airport and a rush-hour metro train in the Belgian capital came four days after Brussels police captured the prime suspect in attacks by the jihadist groups in Paris.

“Islamic State fighters opened fire inside Zaventem Airport, before several of them detonated their explosive belts, as a martyrdom bomber detonated his explosive belt in the Maalbeek metro station,” Amaq said.

The attack triggered security alerts across Europe.

An Iraqi intelligence official says sources in the Syrian city of Raqqa have told them that the Islamic State group has been planning terrorist attacks in Europe for two months which would “target airports and train stations.”

The official tells The Associated Press on Tuesday that Iraqi officials told European countries about the plans “but Brussels was not part of the plans” at the time.

He says IS militants changed the operation and moved it to Brussels “because of the detention of Salah Abdeslam” — the Paris attacks suspect arrested Friday in Brussels.

Another senior Iraqi intelligence official said “Daesh (IS) was behind this operation and it was planned in Raqqa two months ago and there are three suicide attackers who will carry out another attack.”

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity since the investigation was ongoing.

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