The ISIS terrorist who admitted to being “the man in the hat” seen in the CCTV image of a trio of Arab would-be suicide bombers pushing their suitcases into the Brussels airport on March 22, has told his interrogators that they planned to attack passengers waiting to board flights to the United States, Russia and Tel-Aviv, French BFM TV reported on Thursday.
According to BFM, the man, Mohamed Abrini, described the brothers Khalid and Ibrahim El-Bakraoui and Najim Laachraoui as the point men in the March 22 attacks on the Brussels airport and metro station that killed 32.
Belgian police picked up Abrini, 31, a Belgian petty criminal, near the Brussels borough of Molenbeek, on suspicion of assisting in the Nov. 13 bombing and shooting attack that killed 130 in Paris, and of being the “man in the hat” seen with the Brussels airport suicide bombers on March 22. Abrini’s fingerprints were found in the apartment where the two airport suicide bombers were staying.
On Wednesday, ISIS published the obituaries of the Brussels suicide bombers, crediting them with preparing the explosives for the November Paris attacks as well, in its online magazine Dabiq. The obits said “Brussels, the heart of Europe, has been struck” and promised more attacks.
The Dabiq obit described one of the two terrorist brothers, Khalid El Bakraoui, 27, as a “natural leader” who experienced a “vivid, life-changing dream” while serving time in prison for a carjacking. “All preparations for the raids in Paris and Brussels started with him and his older brother,” the Dabiq obit said. “These two brothers gathered the weapons and the explosives. After the blessed raid in Paris, he saw another dream, which motivated him to carry out a martyrdom operation.”