Brussels, April 10: Belgian Prosecutors Say ‘Man in the Hat’ is Mohamed Abrini.
The massive hunt for the “man in the hat” linked to the Brussels airport bombings appears to be over.
The Paris attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini, was arrested on Friday in Brussels has confessed to investigators that he is “the man in the hat” caught in the Brussels airport security cameras on March 22, Belgian federal prosecutor said on Saturday.
“He was confronted with the results of various expert assessments and admitted his presence,” Xinhua quoted the federal prosecutor as saying.
“The person told investigators that he had thrown his jacket in a trash can and then sold his hat.”
Abrini was placed under arrest and charged with participation in a terrorist group and terrorist murders, the federal prosecutor said.
Two other men pictured with the ‘man in the hat’ — Najim Laachraoui and Ibrahim El Bakraoui blew themselves up in the attack, leaving Belgian authorities searching for the third suspect.
Among others arrested is Osama Krayem, who as Brussels bombings probe has revealed is the second man who was present during the Maelbeek Metro Station attack.
Krayem was also present in the City 2 shop center of Brussels when buying bags that were used in the attacks, reported the Belgian broadcaster RTBF.
He was also placed under arrest and charged with participation in a terrorist group and terrorist murders.
Another two suspects, Herve B.M. and Bilal E.M., were charged with participation in a terrorist group and terrorist murders complicity.
Two more people, who were arrested along with Abrini were released after thorough hearing.
They were to strike in France again
The original plan of the Brussels attackers was to strike in France again, but they decided in a hurry to launch attacks in the Belgian capital, the Belgian prosecutor said on Sunday.
“According to several elements of the investigation, the goal of the terrorist group was to strike France and it’s taken aback because the investigation strode, so they finally decided in the emergency to hit Brussels,” Xinhua quoted the prosecutor as saying in a statement.
Mohamed Abrini, who was arrested in the Belgian capital on Friday in relation with the Brussels and Paris attacks, made these statements to investigators.
A handout image released on March 22, 2016 by the Belgian Federal Police shows a screen grab showed a man in a light-colored jacket and dark hat pushing a luggage cart loaded with a black bag at the airport.