Belgian officials have arrested a key suspect from last year’s Paris attacks, a senior Belgian official said Friday, and investigators also explored possible links to the deadly bombings in Brussels last month.
The suspect, Mohamed Abrini, was the subject of a massive manhunt since last November’s rampage in Paris, which killed 130 people in a plot that was believed linked to the Islamic State.
A senior Belgian intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity before an official announcement, said Abrini was among several suspects arrested.
Belgian officials had announced arrests in connection with the March 22 attacks in Brussels, but gave no immediate details. Belgian public broadcaster VRT reported that the 31-year-old Abrini was also possibly the so-called “man in a hat” sought in connection with the Brussels blasts that claimed 32 lives.
The Brussels suspect was seen on surveillance video at Brussels Airport – wearing a low-brim hat – walking alongside two of the suspected suicide attackers, each pushing a luggage cart holding what officials said were large bags containing explosives.
He was later seen leaving the airport, where a third bomb was found unexploded. A separate bombing took place in a Brussels metro station.
On Thursday, investigators released additional video of the airport suspect.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Souad Mekhennet, Brian Murphy