Brussels attacker had been on US watch list before Paris attacks: source


WASHINGTON: Brahim El Bakraoui, one of the Brussels suicide bombers, was on a US counterterrorism watch list before the November attacks in Paris and his brother Khalid was put on the list shortly afterward, sources familiar with the matter said.

Reuters previously reported that both brothers had been known to US authorities before the March 18 arrest of Salah Abdeslam, a French national who prosecutors say had a key role in the Paris attacks.

Belgian prosecutors have identified Brahim El Bakraoui as one of two suicide bombers who attacked Brussels’ Zaventem Airport on Tuesday, while they say Khalid El Bakraoui carried out a suicide bombing at Brussels’ Maelbeek Metro station, near European Union headquarters.

Belgium’s chief prosecutor named two brothers as Islamic State suicide bombers who killed at least 31 people in the most deadly attacks in Brussels’ history but said another key suspect was on the run.

The attacks on a city that is home to the European Union and Nato sent shockwaves across Europe and around the world, with authorities racing to review security at airports and on public transport. It also rekindled debate about lagging European security cooperation and flaws in police surveillance. Washington announced that Secretary of State John Kerry would visit Belgium on Friday to demonstrate support.

Source:Reuters