The two suicide bombers who committed the attack at Brussels airport Tuesday morning were brothers, Khalid and Brahim El Bakraoui, who were known to authorities, according to Belgian RTBF TV.
Khalid rented an apartment in the Brussels suburb of Forest under a false name. RTBF stated that it was in Forest that an armed man was killed in one of the Belgian security forces operations recently.
Security forces in Belgium and other European countries are engaged Wednesday in an extensive manhunt for the third terrorist involved in the airport attacks who was able to flee.
Police issued a wanted notice for the suspect, along with a CCTV picture showing a bespectacled man with a goatee beard, wearing a white jacket and black hat, pushing a trolley with a large black bag.
The terrorist still at large is Najim Laachraoui, 25, a man already sought by the police since Monday, Belgian newspaper DH said. Laachraoui’s DNA has been found in houses used by the Paris attackers last year, prosecutors said on Monday, and he had traveled to Hungary in September with Paris attacks prime suspect Salah Abdeslam.
Authorities earlier released a grainy picture of the same man alongside two men with dark hair in dark clothes who were also pushing trollies with similar bags.
Both of those men wore black gloves on their left hands.
Two American officials told CNN that the terrorist was seen leaving the airport. According to them, the information that led to the raid on the house northeast of Brussels, was provided by a taxi driver who drove the terrorists to the airport.
The taxi driver turned to authorities after having seen the images of the security camera. VRT Belgian TV reported that the terrorists wanted to bring five suitcases but in the end were forced to bring only three as the taxi was too small.
Armed with the taxi driver’s information Belgian security forces raided the house, and found a bomb, chemicals and an ISIS flag.
The mayor of Zaventem, where the international airport is located, said that the terrorists “came in a taxi with their suitcases, their bombs were in their bags.
“They put their suitcases on trolleys, the first two bombs exploded. The third also put his on a trolley but he must have panicked, it didn’t explode, ” he added.
It was this case that bomb disposal experts blew up later, he added.
Vermeiren said of the airport attacks that “it was a war zone, atrocious to see, atrocious to live through. But strength and solidarity have won.”
Belgium’s federal prosecutor said earlier that there were two suicide bombers and they were “actively looking” for a third whose bomb did not go off.