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May 2, 2016 / 24 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Brussels’

Belgium ID’s Brussels ‘Man in Hat,’ But Warns ‘May Be More Terror Cells’

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

Belgian investigators have finally identified the mysterious “man in the hat” — the third man in video footage that showed the two suicide bombers who blew up Zaventem International Airport in Brussels last month.

Authorities said that Paris attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini, who is in custody, admitted to being the man in the photo with the two terrorists.

“After being confronted with the results of the different expert examinations, he confessed his presence at the crime scene,” Belgian federal prosecutors told reporters Saturday.

Abrini, 31, was also the last identified suspect at large from the Nov. 13 massacre in Paris. He was one of four suspects charged Saturday with “participating in terrorist acts” in connection with the March 22 suicide bombings in Brussels. The attacks on the city’s international airport and metro system killed 32 people and wounded 270 others.

According to Belgian federal prosecutors, Abrini was detained Friday in a raid carried out in Brussels. He told police that he threw away his white vest in a garbage bin, and sold the hat that was seen in the footage. His fingerprints were found in France in a car used by the Paris attackers, and in Brussels, in an apartment used by the airport bombers.

A Belgian-Moroccan petty criminal known to police, Abrini was a childhood friend of Paris terror suspect brothers Salah and Brahim Abdeslam. He also had ties to the group’s ringleader, Abdelhamid Abbaoud, who died in a shootout with French police shortly after the massacre.

While Brahim Abdeslam died in Paris as a suicide bomber on Nov. 13, his brother Salah had second thoughts and fled instead; he returned to Brussels and hid in his old neighborhood for the next four months. He was arrested on March 18, four days before the attack on the airport and metro system.

The fact that the two bombers were together with a terror suspect intimately connected with the Nov. 13 Paris massacre only reinforces the reality that Da’esh (ISIS) has succeeded in establishing a tightly woven network of terrorists in major cities across the European continent.

Further reinforcing that point is the arrest of Osama Krayem, who left Malmo, Sweden, to fight with Da’esh in Syria. He is accused of being the No. 2 terrorist in the March 22 bombing of the Brussels metro station, killing 16 people. He is also accused of being at a shopping mall where the luggage used in the bombing of the airport was purchased.

A Rwandan nation, Herve B.M. was arrested at the same time as Osama Krayem and allegedly offered assistance to him and Abrini, prosecutors said.

Belgium is still maintaining a second-highest terror alert, because “there are perhaps other cells that are still active on our territory,” Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon told RTL television on Saturday.

A total of 162 people have been murdered in Europe by Da’esh (ISIS) in less than half a year. Most of the operatives responsible for the murders have had connections in Belgium and/or France, as well as Syria.

Hana Levi Julian

Brussels Airport to Reopen With Symbolic Flights Only

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

The Zaventem International Airport in Brussels is set to reopen Sunday (April 3) — sort of — two weeks after two suicide bombers blew up the departure hall.

Three symbolic flights to Faro, Athens and Turin will depart as the airport partially restores service.

Fifteen people died and 81 others were wounded in the deadly terror attack at the airport, not counting the bombers or those who later died of their wounds.

A third suicide bomber blew up a metro station in the Belgian capital close to the headquarters of the European Union, within an hour after the attack on the airport. Fourteen people died in that attack, and 220 others were wounded.

The two attacks were linked and the Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization claimed responsibility for both.

“I am very pleased and proud to be able to announce that tomorrow, Sunday 3 April, Brussels Airport will be able to welcome its first passengers after the devastating bomb attacks,” said Brussels airport CEO Arnaud Feist in a statement on Saturday afternoon.

“I am extremely grateful to all airport staff, federal police and the federal government for their efforts and commitment. These flights are the first hopeful sign from an airport that is standing up straight after a cowardly attack.

“That we are able to make this start only 12 days after the devastating attacks is a sign of our collective strength at Brussels Airport,” he added.

But there is no public transportation in the area and the airport can only be reached by car or taxi. The first three flights are symbolic only.

“In the coming days, we will examine the possibility of restarting other means of transport, such as bus and train”, Brussels airport officials said.

Hana Levi Julian

Belgium Charges Third Suspect in French Terror Plot

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

Belgian authorities are continuing to find new suspects as they track down operatives in the tightly-woven terrorist network that criss-crosses the European Union.

A third suspect, Y.A., 35., was charged with terrorist activities Saturday in a Belgian court, federal prosecutors said, according to the Belgian Le Soir newspaper.

The suspect was charged along with two others – Abderamane Ameroud, 38, and Rabah M., 34, both Algerian citizens – in connection with an imminent terror plot foiled last week in France.

All three were linked to terror suspect Reda Kriket, 34, who was arrested in a Paris suburb.

French citizen Anis Bahri, 32, is being held in the Netherlands after being arrested in connection with the same alleged plot, according to USA Today. Bahri is currently fighting extradition to France, AFP reported.

Both weapons and explosives were found at Kriket’s apartment, according to Paris prosecutor Francois Molins, who said at the time “no specific target” had been identified.

However, the large amount of weapons and explosives that were found made it clear that an imminent plot involving “extreme violence” was being planned, he said.

Hana Levi Julian

Sky News: ISIS Plots ‘Imminent’ Attack on Turkish Jewish Children

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists have moved ahead with a plot to attack Jewish children in Turkey, according to a report by Sky News.

Turkish intelligence has warned of an “imminent” attack by the terror group, targeting schools, youth centers and kindergartens. The information was gleaned from six ISIS operatives arrested last week.

In Istanbul, the most likely target is said to be the synagogue in the Beyoglu district, which includes a Jewish school and community center. This synagogue is located close to the site where a suicide bombing by a Da’esh operative took place just 10 days ago, near the popular Taksim tourist area.

Three Israelis and an Iranian national died in that attack and dozens were wounded, including 11 Israelis. It is still not clear whether the bomber was targeting the Israeli tour group that was in the area at the time, or not, but at least one report claims the group was tracked by the bomber from the time they left their hotel.

A similar bombing, albeit on a larger scale was carried out by Da’esh last week in the Belgian capital of Brussels. Two suicide bombers blew up the departure hall at Saventem International Airport and another bomber blew up a metro station close to the headquarters of the European Union. At least 35 people were killed and more than 300 people were wounded in the multi-site attack.

“In light of these circumstances, extraordinary security measures are being taken above and beyond the high alert level already in place by the Turkish police, as well as vigilance within the Jewish community,” an intelligence source told Sky News.

“Undercover and other covert counter-terror measures are being implemented around the clock… This is a more than credible threat,” the source added. “This is an active plot.”

In light of the current threat, Israel has issued a Level 2 terror alert, urging its citizens not to travel to Turkey right now and those who are already there to leave as soon as possible.

Hana Levi Julian

3 More Terrorists Charged in Brussels Airport, Metro Attacks

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Officials say three more terror suspects were charged in the Islamic State (ISIS) attacks on Zaventem Airport and the metro station near the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels last week.

Faycal Cheffou, the man in the light vest and dark hat seen in the airport CCTV video footage last week was arrested Thursday. The Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office said he was charged with “involvement in a terrorist group, terrorist murder and attempted terrorist murder,” according to Fox News. Belgian media said Cheffou was a local activist known to police as an agitator who tried to convert local homeless and asylum-seekers to radical Islam.

Two other suspects arrested Thursday, Raba N. and Aboubakar A., were both charged with “involvement in the activities of a terrorist group.”

On Sunday, police in Italy arrested an Algerian suspect in Bellizzi in the Salerno province, according to the ANSA Italian news agency.

The Algerian suspect is wanted by Belgian authorities on suspicion of producing fake residency documents linked to the Brussels Attacks, Italian National Police told CNN. In addition, he is also wanted in connection with the Nov. 13 terrorist massacre in Paris, police said in a statement on Twitter.

An American couple has been identified among the dead from last Tuesday’s attack in Brussels.

Justin and Stephanie Shults, ages 30 and 29 respectively, were missing since last Tuesday. Both were graduates of Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. They were dropping off Stephanie’s mother at the airport when the bombers detonated their explosives. The mother emerged unscathed.

Officials revised the death toll from the Brussels attacks to 28, removing the bodies of the three suicide bombers from the count. Thus far, 24 of the victims have been identified by Brussels officials.

Hana Levi Julian

Belgian PM Cancels Event With US Secy of State Due to Terror Operations

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel canceled a planned event with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday as a sting operation to grab a “big fish” got underway in the Schaerbeek neighborhood in Brussels. Police captured Abderamane A. near a tram stop with a backpack that looked “suspicious.”

Witnesses who were in their homes near the scene at the time told The Wall Street Journal they heard two gunshots. Police shot the suspect in the leg when he refused a directive to hand over his backpack and lie down. The suspect was arrested and taken into custody, the witnesses said.

The backpack was detonated by a bomb-disposal robot, which produced a small a small bang, they said. A girl who was with him was unharmed. Her relationship was unclear.

Another suspect shot by Belgian police, Tawfik A. had resisted arrest during a house raid on Friday. He was connected to 34-year-old Frenchman Reda Kriket, a terrorist arrested a day earlier in France. A second suspect connected to Kriket, Rabah N., was also arrested Friday, without gunfire. Tawfik A. was reported released on Saturday, WSJ reported.

Kriket was linked to Abdel-hamid Abaaoud, suspected ringleader of the Nov.13 Paris massacre. Kriket had been convicted in absentia in Belgium last year along with Abaaoud.

Kriket was also allegedly in the advanced stage of planning another attack when he was captured last week . Police said they discovered weapons and explosives in his suburban Paris apartment.

Authorities said they have identified 24 of the 31 victims of last week’s attacks in Brussels; of the 340 wounded, 101 are still hospitalized.

Hana Levi Julian

Casualty Numbers Rising After Brussels Terror Attacks

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

The number of casualties confirmed in the Brussels terrorist attacks on Tuesday is rising.

So far authorities report that 31 people have been confirmed to have died in the two attacks on the Zaventem Airport and the metro station near European Union headquarters in the city.

In addition, a number of people are reported missing, including a British citizen and a person from India.

At least 300 people were wounded in the two attacks; 150 are still hospitalized, including 61 patients who are critically injured. Four patients are still unidentified, according to The Guardian newspaper.

The two suicide bombers who blew up the departure hall at the airport and the bomber who blew up the metro station are all dead. The Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization claimed responsibility for both attacks.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered Israel’s assistance to his Belgian counterpart, Prime Minister Charles Michel, and said the Jewish State had much to offer Belgium in its battle against terrorism.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/casualty-numbers-rising-after-brussels-terror-attacks/2016/03/24/

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