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Belgium police arrests mastermind of Brussels airport terrorist attack

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A man suspected to be the bomber of Zaventem Airport in Brussels, Belgium has been arrested, Belgian media say on Wednesday.

The suspect whose name was given as Najim Laachraoui, was reportedly arrested at a pizza restaurant in Anderlecht

Two huge blasts, at least, one of which prosecutors said was likely caused by a suicide bomber, rocked the check-in hall at Zaventem Airport, strewing the scene with blood and mangled bodies and sending hundreds of terrified travellers fleeing in terror.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the terror attacks, noting that its operatives had carried out “a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices”.

La Derniere Heure newspaper and broadcaster RTL said Laachraoui had been arrested in the Anderlecht district of Brussels, adding that he was the third man pictured in airport CCTV footage alongside two suicide bombers who blew themselves up on Tuesday.

Officials did not confirm the report but Belgium’s federal prosecutor was due to give a press conference at 1200 GMT.
Belgian media earlier said that brothers Khalid and Ibrahim El Bakraoui had been identified as two of the bombers who struck the airport and the Maalbeek metro station in Tuesday’s Brussels attacks.

Belgian investigators named Laachraoui on Monday following the arrest of Paris suspect Salah Abdeslam.
They said that under the alias Soufiane Kayal he travelled to Hungary in September with Abdeslam, who is the last known survivor of the 10 Paris attackers.

Laachraoui is also believed to have travelled to Syria in February 2013.

Traces of DNA from the 24-year-old were found on the explosives used in the gun and suicide attacks in Paris, a source close to the French investigation said earlier this week.

Belgian prosecutors on Monday said Laachraoui’s DNA had been found at an apartment in the Schaarbeek district of Brussels where bomb making equipment and one of Abdeslam’s fingerprints had been found in December.

His DNA was also found at an apartment used by the Paris attackers in Auvelais, near the central Belgian city of Namur, which he had rented under a false name.

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