Here’s what links the Brussels suspects to the Paris attack
WHAT WE KNOW NOW:
- Two suspects in the Brussels bombings are identified as brothers.
- A third suspect is still at large.
- The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the Brussels attacks.
Three men wheeling suitcases through the Brussels airport are suspected of setting off explosions on Tuesday at the airport and a subway station in coordinated attacks that left at least 34 people dead — including three bombers — and wounded more than 200.
Two of the suspects pictured in the airport surveillance footage died in the attack. A third suspect, pictured wearing a light-colored coat and a hat, is on the run.
Two suspects, identified as brothers Khalid and Brahim El Bakraoui, were thought to have blown themselves up — one at the Brussels airport and one at a subway station in the Belgian capital. The third suspect remains unidentified, and Belgian authorities continued raids of Brussels neighborhoods on Wednesday to try to find him.
According to Belgian media, Khalid El Bakraoui had rented an apartment in Brussels that led authorities to capture and arrest a suspect last week in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam. A series of shootings and explosions in Paris killed 130 people.
Police are searching for another suspected accomplice to Abdeslam, Najim Laachraoui, who they say helped make the suicide vests in the Paris sieges, according to the Associated Press.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for both the Brussels and Paris assaults.
Belgium began three days of mourning on Wednesday, closing government offices and schools. People started the day with a moment of silence to remember the victims.
Belgium remains at the highest terrorism threat level, and the airport in Brussels will remain closed until at least Thursday night.
The U.S. State Department, meanwhile, has issued a travel alert for Europe, which doesn’t tell people not to travel to the continent but encourages travelers to remain vigilant and be sure to have the contact information of local U.S. embassies in case of emergencies.
About a dozen American citizens were injured in the Brussels attacks, and the State Department is trying to contact more citizens at the U.S. missions in Brussels to make sure they are safe, said Mark Toner, department deputy spokesman.
Brussels, an international city with a mixture of nationalities, is concerned about radicalization, said Toner on CNN. Countries have been making steady gains against the Islamic State militants in places like Iraq and Syria. “But clearly radicalization remains a problem” elsewhere, he said.