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Two More Men Charged With Terrorism-Related Offenses Over Brussels Bombings

Brussels Airport and the city's Maelbeek metro station were attacked by suicide bombers on March 22, killing 32 people.

Last updated on April 12, 2016, at 10:24 a.m. ET

Posted on March 22, 2016, at 3:47 a.m. ET

Here's What's Happening:

  • ISIS claimed responsibility for terror attacks at two crowded commuter hubs in Belgium on March 22.
  • Two suicide bombs were detonated at Brussels Airport ​in Zaventem. About an hour later there was a blast on a rush-hour subway car as it pulled away from Maelbeek metro station, just steps away from the European Union headquarters.
  • Authorities said 32 people died as a result of the attacks (excluding the three suicide bombers) and at least 340 people were injured.
  • The attackers initially planned to strike the day after Easter — but the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, who is a key suspect in the November attacks in Paris, caused them to move up the timeline, BuzzFeed News first reported.
  • Several suspects have been identified, including Belgian brothers Ibrahim and Khalid el-Bakraoui. Ibrahim is thought to have detonated a bomb at the airport, Khalid at the subway station.
  • Najim Laachraoui, also Belgian, was an airport suicide bomber.
  • On April 8, Belgian authorities said they had arrested two men: Mohamed Abrini in connection with the earlier attacks in Paris, and Osama Krayem.
  • On April 9, authorities charged Abrini and "Osama. K", as well as two other men, with terrorism offenses. Abrini also confessed to being the so-called "man in hat," filmed alongside the other airport suicide bombers.
  • On April 10, prosecutors said the Brussels cell had initially planned on launching another attack in France.
  • On April 12, two more men — identified as Smaïl F. and Ibrahim F. — were charged with terrorism offenses.
  • Here is everything we know about the suspects. Here is a list of the victims.
BuzzFeed (Updated: April 11, 2016)

Updates

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Three detained in Brussels with suspected connection to Paris attacks released without charge.

Three people with alleged connections to the November Paris attack were arrested in Brussels on Tuesday, according to the Belgian Federal Prosecutor's office. They were picked up after the search in the Uccle neighborhood.

On Wednesday, the prosecutor's office released another statement saying they had been released without charge.

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Belgian authorities charge two more people with terrorism offenses after Brussels attack

Prosecutors in Belgium charged two men with terrorism offenses related to last month's bombings in Brussels on Monday.

In a statement released Tuesday morning, the Belgian federal prosecutor's office identified the men as Smaïl F. and Ibrahim F. The statement read:

Yesterday, the Investigating Judge specialized in terrorism cases who is in charge of the investigation into the Brussels and Zaventem attacks of last March 22, has put into custody Smaïl F., born in 1984, and Ibrahim F., born in 1988.

They are charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist group, terrorist murders and attempts to commit terrorist murders, as a perpetrator, co-perpetrator or accomplice.

There are indications they can be linked to the rental of the address Avenue des Casernes in Etterbeek. In the current state of the investigation which is continuing actively, day and night, no further information whatsoever can be released.

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Brussels attackers initially wanted to target France again

The terrorist cell that killed 32 people in Brussels had initially planned on launching another attack in France, Belgian prosecutors said Sunday.

The attackers who struck the Belgian capital on March 22 were "surprised by the speed of the progress in the ongoing investigation," Belgium's federal prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Raids and arrests by authorities, including taking Paris fugitive Salah Abdeslam into custody, convinced the attackers to rush attacks in Brussels, prosecutors said.

Authorities have already established multiple links between the Brussels cell and the ISIS-linked attack that killed 130 people in Paris in November.

"The Federal Prosecution Office can confirm that numerous elements in the investigation have shown that the terrorist group initially had the intention to strike in France again," prosecutors said. "Eventually, surprised by the speed of the progress in the ongoing investigation, they urgently took the decision to strike in Brussels."

A former French intelligence officer told the New York Times the intended targets in Paris were La Défense, a large commercial district to the northwest of the city center, and an unidentified Catholic association.

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Belgian authorities identify third airport suspect as Mohamed Abrini

View this video on YouTube

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Two and a half weeks after the Brussels terrorist attacks, Belgian authorities on Saturday confirmed they had captured the third suspect sought in connection with the bombings at the city's airport.

Mohamed Abrini, who was arrested Friday and charged with terrorism offenses on Saturday, admitted to being the so-called "man in the hat" spotted on surveillance footage with the other bombers prior to the blasts.

In a statement, Belgium's federal prosecutor's office said Saturday it had confirmed his identify based on a confession.

"After being confronted with the results of the different expert examinations, he confessed his presence at the crime scene," the statement read. "He explained having thrown away his vest in a garbage bin and having sold his hat afterwards."

Belgian police had released a number of images and surveillance video of the suspect in a bid to identify him.

#Terrorisme #VIDEO suspect à identifier https://t.co/rYdyrBSJqF

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Belgian authorities charge four men with terrorism offenses

Salah Abdeslam, left, a suspect in the Paris attack, and Mohammed Abrini, right, who was captured on April 8.
FedPol Belgium / Via youtube.com

Salah Abdeslam, left, a suspect in the Paris attack, and Mohammed Abrini, right, who was captured on April 8.

Mohamed Abrini, a suspect in the Paris terrorist attacks, and three other men were placed in detention by a Belgian judge on Saturday and charged with terrorism offenses.

Abrini, who was one of several people detained during a raid on Friday, was one of Europe's most-wanted men, suspected of driving assailants during November's Paris attacks.

In a statement, the Belgian federal prosecutor's office said Abrini was "charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist group and terrorist murders."

Two other people arrested alongside Abrini were released, authorities said.

The prosecutor's office added that it was still too early to say whether Abrini was the third suspect (the so-called man in the hat) sought in connection with the attack on Brussels airport.

Authorities said they had also charged an Osama K., believed to be Osama Krayem, with the same terrorism offenses as Abrini.

Officials said investigators were able "to formally identify Osama K. as being the second person present at the attacks on the Maelbeek subway station. Thus, he was also present in the City2 shopping mall when purchasing the bags that were used later in the attacks."

A Rwandan man, Hervé B.M., arrested alongside Osama K., was also charged with the same terrorism offenses, with authorities saying he is suspected of having provided assistance to Abrini and Osama K.

A fourth man arrested Friday night, Bilal E.M., was also charged with belonging to a terrorist group and "terrorist murders." — David Mack

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Belgian authorities: Unclear if Mohamed Abrini is "man in the hat"

Police arrest a man in the Anderlecht area of Brussels, Friday.
Sebastian Kamran via AP

Police arrest a man in the Anderlecht area of Brussels, Friday.

Belgian prosecutors said they are still working to verify if Mohamed Abrini, a suspect in the Paris terrorist attacks, could also be the mysterious "man in the hat" wanted in the bombing of the Zaventern airport in Brussels.

Abrini was one of five people detained during a raid Friday, ending an international manhunt that began when authorities said he was linked to the Nov. 13 Paris attacks.

On Friday, Belgian authorities said they were investigating whether Abrini might have been the third suspect captured on video moments before the bombing attacks in Brussels, the Associated Press reported, wearing a hat and accompanied by two other men.

"We are investigating if Abrini can be identified as the third person at the Brussels national airport, the so-called man with the hat," prosecutor Eric Van de Sypt said.

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Belgian authorities arrest Mohamed Abrini and Osama Krayem.

Abrini is in the center
AFP / Getty Images

Abrini is in the center

Belgian authorities told CNN Friday they arrested Mohamed Abrini — wanted for driving the assailants in the Paris terror attacks and Osama Krayem.

Eric Van der Sypt, a spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor's office said Abrini, 31, is Belgian-Moroccan and was one of the most wanted men in Europe.

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Belgian prosecutors release footage of the "man in hat" seen with the suicide bombers on March 22.

Fedpol Belgium / Via youtube.com

Belgian authorities on Thursday released a video showing a suspect, identified as "man in hat," whom they believe worked with the suicide bombers in the March 22 attack that killed a total of 32 people.

View this video on YouTube

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Authorities also made an appeal to the public to contact police if they had any information about the man.

The footage shows the man, who wears a dark-colored hat, blue shirt, white jacket (which he at some point removed) and brown shoes, in various locations throughout Brussels between 7:58 a.m. and 9:50 a.m. on March 22.

Belgian Federal Prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt said that authorities were particularly interested in hearing from people who may have captured the man in a photo or video, according to the Associated Press.

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The first passenger flight since the terrorist attacks has left Brussels Airport.

Three Brussels Airlines planes stand at departure gates at Brussels Airport ready to leave Sunday.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP

Three Brussels Airlines planes stand at departure gates at Brussels Airport ready to leave Sunday.

The first passenger flight since the March 22 suicide bombings has taken off from Brussels Airport.

Three passenger flights are scheduled to depart the airport Sunday. Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist said the three flights were "a sign of hope" that even partial passenger service could resume so soon following "the darkest days in the history of aviation in Belgium."

The first plane to leave will travel to the Portuguese city of Faro. The other two flights are to Athens and Turin in Italy.

1st passenger plane back at #brusselsairport, saluted by emergency services. Welcome back @FlyingBrussels

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Brussels Airport set to re-open Sunday with limited flights.

Brussels Airport Chief Executive Office CEO Arnaud Feist.
Nicolas Maeterlinck / AFP / Getty Images

Brussels Airport Chief Executive Office CEO Arnaud Feist.

Brussels Airport is scheduled to partially re-open on Sunday with its first flights at the terminal since the March 22 terrorist attacks, the airport CEO said Saturday.

Speaking to reporters in the Belgian capital, Arnaud Feist said three flights from Brussels Airlines, the country's main carrier, are expected run on Sunday as part of extremely limited service.

"We have consciously opted for a limited offer that can evolve gradually over time," he said.

Full passenger service will be restored by June or July in time for the European summer crowds, he said

An initial analysis of the damage to Brussels Airport found that the terminal building's structure was stable in the aftermath of the deadly suicide bombings.

Watch the press conference here:

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Another man has been charged with terrorism offenses by Belgian authorities.

The Belgian prosecutor has confirmed a Belgian man, known only as Y.A., has been charged with participating in a terrorist group.

The man was arrested as part of the investigation that led to the arrest of Reda Kriket in Argenteuil in France last month.

Kriket, who is French, was said to be in the final stages of plotting an attack in France when he was arrested.

The Belgian national, who was born on May 4, 1982, has been put in custody by an investigating judge.

He has been charged with participation to the activities of a terrorist group.

The Belgian prosecutor declined to provide any further information.

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Police strike delays Brussels airport reopening.

No flights till 1 April included. Awaiting decision authorities on final date for restart. We're operationally ready to resume flights.

Members of Belgium's largest police union said Friday they'd gone on strike at the Brussels airport to protest what they said were unsafe working conditions, the BBC reported.

The labor action will delay the airport's reopening, which had been scheduled for Friday afternoon.

"We are on strike because of what happened on 22 March - we cannot continue as if this day has not happened," Vincent Gilles, the union's president, told the British broadcaster. "The police feel the security measures put in place by the airport company are insufficient for those who work and use the airport."

The union's demands include the installation of metal detectors outside the building, to prevent people from bringing explosives into the terminals. The Belgian authorities have opposed such measures, arguing that they would create unnecessary longer waiting times.

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FBI told Dutch investigators el-Bakraoui brothers were wanted a week before the Brussels attacks.

A Dutch minister has confirmed Dutch investigations were tipped off that the Brussels attackers Ibrahim and Khalid el-Bakraoui were wanted for their "radical and terrorist background" by the FBI.

The FBI told Dutch authorities the two brothers were wanted less than a week before they blew themselves up, the Associated Press reported.

Ard van der Steur, the Dutch interior minister, was responding to questions about the brothers in Parliament when he revealed the authorities had been tipped off.

BuzzFeed News revealed Ibrahim was deported to the Netherlands from Turkey in July 2015, a month after being picked up by Turkish police near the Syrian border.

But the Netherlands said that when he arrived his name did not appear on any wanted lists and he was not detained.

"On 16 March, the FBI informed Dutch police … that both brothers were sought by Belgian authorities," van der Steur said in a letter to Dutch MPs.

Van der Steur said the FBI told the Dutch authorities that Ibrahim was sought by the Belgian authorities for "his criminal background", while Khalid was wanted for "terrorism, extremism and recruitment".

The timing of the note and why it was sent to the Dutch by the FBI has not been detailed.

Belgian authorities said Tuesday they were not informed of the note and had no idea where the El Bakroaui brothers were before the Brussels bombings.

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Floor plan of Belgian Prime Minister's office found on Brussels attackers' laptop.

Belgian servicemen block the road at the Prime Minister's office.
AFP / Getty Images

Belgian servicemen block the road at the Prime Minister's office.

A detailed file containing a floor plan and photographs of the Belgian Prime Minister's office were found on a laptop discarded by one of the Brussels attacks bombers, Belgian media report.

The De Tijd and L'Echo newspapers reported "reliable sources" had told them the computer contained information about Rue de la Loi 16 and the prime minister's official residence in Lambermont Street.

The computer was found during raids on Rue Max Roos in the Schaerbeek section of Brussels just hours after the attacks on March 22.

A Belgian official familiar with the investigation confirmed the reports to the New York Times.

Investigators also found the will of one of the bombers, Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, on the same computer.

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Death toll in Brussels attacks revised to 32 people

All 32 victims of the Brussels attacks have been identified, authorities said Tuesday.

Belgian authorities had previously said there were 35 victims, not including the suicide bombers. On Tuesday, with each identity officially determined, authorities said several people had been counted twice on different lists.

Of the dead, 17 were Belgians and 15 were foreigners. Ninety people remained hospitalized in Belgium, many in intensive care or receiving burn treatment.

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Authorities release man due to lack of evidence, continue search for third airport suspect

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A man widely thought to have been the third airport suspect in Brussels' terrorist attacks was released by authorities on Monday due to a lack of evidence, Belgian's federal prosecutor announced.

In a surprise move, the man, known only as Fayçal C, was released because the "clues that led to the arrest...were not reinforced by the evolution of the current investigation," police said in a statement.

Belgian media had widely reported Fayçal C was the man captured on surveillance video wearing a hat and walking with the other airport bombers prior to the deadly blasts.

On Saturday, authorities said Fayçal C was being held on charges of participating in a terrorist group, terrorist murder, and attempted terrorist murder.

In a new statement on Monday, police posted a fresh appeal to identify the man in the video, who authorities have said left behind a suitcase containing a large explosive device.

"Police are looking to identify this man," authorities said Monday. "He is suspected of having committed the attack at the Zaventem airport on Tuesday March 22, 2016."

#Terrorisme #VIDEO suspect à identifier https://t.co/rYdyrBSJqF

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Belgian police continue to appeal for information on third suspect seen at Brussels Airport

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Belgian police have issued another appeal for information to find the third man pictured in CCTV footage at Brussels Airport along with the two suicide bombers who died in the attack.

Police believe the man, who was wearing a hat and a light-colored jacket, fled the airport after his explosives failed to detonate.

He remains on the run and has yet to be publicly identified by authorities.

#Terrorisme #VIDEO suspect à identifier https://t.co/rYdyrBSJqF

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Four more Brussels attacks victims die in hospital

Belgium's Health Minister Maggie De Block confirmed Monday morning that the death toll from the attacks has risen again to 35 (excluding the attackers).

She tweeted that a further four victims had died in hospital overnight.

Four patients deceased in hospital. Medical teams did all possible. Total victims: 35. Courage to all the families. #BrusselsAttacks

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Belgian prosecutors charged three more with terrorist offenses

Belgian prosecutors have ordered three men, arrested during raids Sunday, be charged with participating in a terrorist group.

In a statement released Monday morning, prosecutors named the suspects as Yassine A, Mohamed B, and Aboubaker O.

A fourth person has been released without charge, according to the statement.

The men were arrested following 13 raids in Brussels and the northern cities of Mechelen and Duffel early Sunday.

The federal prosecutor's office said Sunday the raids were linked to a "federal case regarding terrorism" but did not specify whether they were directly connected to the Brussels attacks.

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Belgian authorities have now identified 28 of 32 victims

Belgian authorities have released another update on the death toll from last week's attacks.

A total of 31 people died in the attacks (excluding the three suicide bombers) and 28 of them have been identified so far.

In the attacks on Brussels Airport, 15 victims has been formally identified. Six were Belgian and the others were American, Dutch, Swedish, German, French, and Chinese.

In the attack on the Maelbeek subway, 13 victims has been formally identified. Ten of them were Belgian and the others were citizens of Sweden, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

The statement from authorities confirmed three families were still waiting the results of DNA tests before formal identification could be made.

Four patients deceased in hospital. Medical teams did all possible. Total victims: 35. Courage to all the families. #BrusselsAttacks

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Four Americans died in the Brussels attacks, State Department confirms

The deaths of two additional Americans in last week's attacks were confirmed on Sunday, a State Department official told BuzzFeed News.

Information on their identities was not immediately released. The State Department offered condolences to their families, and the U.S. embassy in Brussels was providing them assistance.

Previously, two other Americans had been identified among the victims. Justin and Stephanie Shults, a husband and wife who had moved to Brussels in 2014, died in the blast at the airport.

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Dutch police arrest terror suspect sought by France

Acting at the request of French authorities, police in the Netherlands on Sunday arrested a man suspected of being involved in planning a terrorist attack.

In an online statement, the Dutch prosecutor's office announced authorities had detained the unnamed 32-year-old Frenchman in the city of Rotterdam.

French authorities had sought the man's arrest on Friday.

A 43-year-old man and a 47-year-old man were also arrested in the raid, as was as a third suspect, who has not been identified.

Nearby houses have been evacuated as police search the premises.

"The arrested Frenchman is expected to soon be handed over to France," authorities said.

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Belgian police use water cannon to quell protests by self-declared fascists

Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP

Right wing demonstrators turned a peaceful memorial gathering in central Brussels into a tense protest Sunday, culminating in the use of water cannons.

Hundreds were gathered in Place de la Bourse to pay their respects to the victims of last week's attacks, when dozens of men – some in balaklavas and ski masks, others with shaved heads – burst onto the steps of the nearby stock exchange.

Riot police right now pushing far right protestors out of Place de la Bourse #BrusselsAttacks #bruxelles

The self-declared fascists trampled flowers, candles, and photographs laid our for the victims of Tuesday's attacks. They also began yelling at Muslims present in the crowd of mourners, and chanting, the BBC reported.

Plainclothes police who were already present at the scene were quickly joined by a riot squad. They aimed water cannons at the the right wing protestors causing them to flee the scene as the original mourners cheered.

The self-declared fascists tramples flowers, candles, and photographs laid our for the victims and began yelling at Muslims present in the crowd of mourners, and chanting, the BBC reported.

Plainclothes police who were already present at the scene were quickly joined by a riot squad. They aimed water cannons at the the right wing protestors causing them to flee the scene as the original mourners cheered.

Alastair Grant / AP

The men, all dressed in black, called themselves "hooligans" and told press they were asking for answers from the government about how so many "fanatics" were allowed in their country.

A right wing protestor walks on flowers.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP

A right wing protestor walks on flowers.

An injured woman is led away from the gathering.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP

An injured woman is led away from the gathering.

A right wing protestor walks on flowers.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP

A right wing protestor walks on flowers.

An injured woman is led away from the gathering.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP

An injured woman is led away from the gathering.

Belgium's interior minister Jan Jambon had asked to residents not to gather in Brussels in solidarity with the victims, due to how thinly Belgian security services were being stretched across the country at that time.

"We understand fully the emotions," Jambon told reporters. "We understand that everyone wants to express these feelings," but appealed to them for their safety to remain dispersed.

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Nine people detained during new raids across Belgium

Nicolas Maeterlinck / AFP / Getty Images

Belgian police have conducted raids in Brussels and two other Belgian cities, detaining nine people, the Associated Press reports.

Four of the people detained remain in custody, while five others were released after questioning.

The federal prosecutor's office said the raids were linked to a "federal case regarding terrorism" but did not specify whether they were directly connected to the Brussels attacks.

The 13 raids happened in Brussels and the northern cities of Mechelen and Duffel early Sunday.

An investigating judge will decide later Sunday whether to keep the four new suspects in custody.

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Initial analysis shows Brussels airport's structure is stable

Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP

An initial analysis of the damage to Brussels Airport found that the terminal building's structure is stable.

The report, based on investigation by a team of engineers and other experts, was released on Saturday. No stability issues were found related to the terminal building, and the adjacent buildings also appeared to be usable.

The results mean that airport officials can now consider installing temporary check-in desks for travelers, a critical part of reopening for business. Airport officials said they were working with airlines and luggage handlers to determine next steps.

In the meantime, the airport remains open through Sunday to passengers who had left their vehicles or luggage on the premises. Most of the 6,000 cars parked at the airport have been collected, officials said.

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Obama calls for international partnership, American unity to fight ISIS

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In his weekly address on Saturday, President Barack Obama described his commitment to defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and preventing further terrorist attacks in Belgium, the U.S., and around the world.

Obama said he had offered a "full array of support" to Belgian authorities as they investigate last week's attacks, including sending an FBI team to the country and increasing intelligence sharing.

"When it comes to our friends, America has their back, especially as we fight the scourge of terrorism," he said.

Obama added that only a global coalition would be able to defeat ISIS, and the U.S. would continue to lead in diplomacy and military partnerships.

He also called on Americans to remain unified against terrorist threats — only by rejecting attempts to stigmatize American Muslims would the U.S. defeat the hateful propaganda of ISIS, he said.

"Such attempts are contrary to our character, to our values, to our history as a nation built around the idea of religious freedom," he said. "It's also counterproductive. It plays right into the hands of the terrorists who want to turn us against each other."

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Victims include at least 13 Belgians, 11 foreigners

Patrik Stollarz / AFP / Getty Images

In their first detailed breakdown of the number of dead and injured from Tuesday's attacks, Belgian officials said Saturday that 28 people were killed by the three suicide bombers.

In a post on the Crisis Center website, officials said some 24 victims have been formally identified, authorities said, including 13 Belgians and 11 foreigners of eight different nationalities.

"The authorities wish to bring certainty to the victims' loved ones as soon as possible," officials said. That is why [victim identification experts] are working intensely. The [officials] want to be 100% and do not make mistakes in this area."

Of those identified, officials said 14 people were killed in the airport attack and 10 in the subway blast.

Officials also said 340 people were injured in the attacks, with 101 people still in hospital.

Of those still being treated for injuries at 33 different medical sites, 62 people are in intensive care, while 32 others are being treated in specialized burn centers.

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Belgian organizers postpone rally scheduled for Sunday

Laurie Dieffembacq / AFP / Getty Images

Organizers postponed a "March Against Fear" rally scheduled for Sunday, after the Belgian Interior Minister asked them to reschedule the demonstration, citing security concerns.

"We invite the citizens tomorrow to not have this demonstration," Interior Minister Jan Jambon said Saturday, according to the Associated Press, adding that Brussels remains on high alert.

The march was scheduled to take place from the Place de la Bourse in Brussels to the city's Gare du Nord train station.

Brussels mayor Yvan Mayeur said police need to focus their time on the investigation following the attacks, and that it would be best to delay the march.

"Let us allow the security services to do their work and that the march, which we too want to take part in, be delayed for several weeks," Mayeur said.

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Belgian prosecutors charge three with terrorism offenses.

Belgian federal prosecutors said Saturday they had charged three men with terrorism offenses in connection with the Brussels attacks and another foiled plot.

One of the men, named as Fayçal C, has been charged with participation in a terrorist group, terrorist murder, and attempted terrorist murder. Le Soir reported that Fayçal C was one of three people arrested Thursday evening outside the offices of the federal prosecutor.

Another man, named as as Aboubakar A, was also charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist group. Aboubakar A was arrested in a car in a different area of Brussels Thursday night.

Belgian police also made arrests on Friday in Argenteuil on the outskirts of Paris relating to an alleged foiled terror plot in France.

One man, Rabah N, has been charged with participating in terrorist activities in relation to the Paris investigation, the prosecutor said.

Belgian media have reported that Fayçal C is the man in the hat pictured in CCTV footage from the airport who fled after the attack. It has been reported his full name was Fayçal Cheffou.

This has not been confirmed by authorities, who say the identification of the man from the airport has yet to be discovered.

A man who was shot and arrested at a tram stop in Schaerbeek in Brussels on Friday continues to be held for questioning. He was named by the prosecutor as Abderamane A.

NOTE: This post has been update clarify the third prosecution.

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Brussels Airport to remain closed until March 29.

Brussels Airport will remain closed to passenger flights until at least Tuesday, Mach 29, the airport said Saturday morning.

Posting on Twitter, the airport said customers with flights booked to or from Brussels should contact their airlines to reschedule.

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Brussels terror attackers linked to possible nuclear plot

Yves Logghe / AP

The two brothers who detonated suicide bombs and died in the Brussels attacks Tuesday are believed to have also conducted surveillance of a Belgian nuclear facility and high-ranking official.

The New York Times reported in February that video obtained from the home of a suspect in the Paris terror attack showed a Belgium nuclear official under surveillance by the network of ISIS fighters.

Although the nuclear official was not identified, the country's Agency for Nuclear Control told NBC News it was one of its top researchers. The video appeared to have been recorded by a hidden camera that was picked up by two people at different times.

A private consulting firm CEO hired to investigate plots against Europe's nuclear sites told NBC the video had been recorded by Khalid and Ibrahim El Bakraoui, the brothers been behind the attacks on Brussels' airport and subway system.

The revelation that the El Bakraoui brothers were conducting surveillance of a nuclear facility has raised concerns that the terrorist cell behind the Paris and Brussels attacks also had aspirations of conducting some sort of a nuclear attack.

In the days since the attack in Brussels, security has been tightened at the country's nuclear facilities and several workers have been denied entry to the sites.

"In recent days, several people have been refused access to the nuclear sites," Nele Scheerlinck, a spokeswoman for the country's nuclear control agency, told Sky News.

Interpol / AFP / Getty Images
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Mariah Carey cancels concert in Brussels over security concerns

Vianney Le Caer / AP

Mariah Carey announced Friday her concert in Brussels has been cancelled in the wake of the terrorist bombings.

Carey, who is currently on her "Sweet Sweet Factory" tour, was scheduled to perform in Brussels on Sunday.

"At this time I am being advised to cancel my show for the safety of my fans, my band, my crew and everyone involved with the tour," she said on Twitter.

I love my fans in Brussels and at this time I am being advised to cancel my show for the safety of my fans, my band, crew and everyone...

...involved with the tour. I hope to see you soon and send my prayers and eternal love, laughter and light to my Lambs.

Carey is scheduled to continue her tour throughout Europe until April 23, when she performs in Amsterdam before heading to Johannesburg.

There was no immediate word on whether the Brussels concert would be rescheduled.

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Belgian prosecutors confirm that Brussels attacker built bombs used in Paris

Najim Laachraoui
Handout . / Reuters

Najim Laachraoui

The Belgian authorities on Friday confirmed that one of the Brussels attackers was involved in building some of the bombs used last year in Paris, the New York Times reported.

Several outlets had previously reported that Najim Laacrhaoui — a 24-year-old Belgian citizen who is believed to have travelled to Syria in 2013 — had participated in both the Paris and the Brussels attacks, but the link had not been established officially.

Prosecutors have said that Laachraoui blew himself up at the Brussels airport, a day after the police asked the public to find him. His DNA had been found in some of the explosive devices used in Paris, as well as in a number of safe-houses used by Salah Abdeslam.

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Belgian minister says Salah Abdeslam is no longer cooperating with investigators

Belgian Justice Minister Koen Greens said Friday that Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving suspect in last year's attacks in Paris, is no longer cooperating with investigators, Le Monde reported.

On Thursday, Belgian sources told BuzzFeed News that investigators believe Abdeslam agreed to cooperate with the authorities to send a message to the remaining members of his cell urging them to move up the date of the attack.

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Three arrests made in Brussels linked to Paris attacks

Belgian prosecutors confirmed to BuzzFeed News that three arrests were made in Brussels as part of the investigation into the Paris attacks.

Prosecutors said that a direct link to the Brussels attackers has not been confirmed but is under investigation.

The Belgian authorities identified two of those arrested as Tawfik A. and Salah A, Reuters reported. They did not identify the third person.

—Mitch Prothero in Brussels

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Police arrest a total of 10 suspects in three countries in relation to Brussels attacks

Police have arrested a total of 10 people in the days after the Brussels attacks, uncovering what they say are international connections that stretch across three countries.

As of Friday, seven people had been arrested in Brussels, one in Paris, and two in Germany, the BBC reported.

Three of those arrested in Belgium had connections to Reda Kriket, the French arrestee, who was said to be in the final stages of plotting an attack, according to Belgian prosecutors.

One of the people arrested in Germany was caught after an ID check near a railroad station, Der Spiegel reported. His cellphone was said to contain a text message from one of the el-Bakraoui brothers.

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Belgian prosecutors confirm Paris bombmaker was second suicide bomber at Brussels airport

Belgian officials on Friday confirmed that Najim Laachraoui was the second suicide bomber in this week's attack at the Brussels airport, Reuters reported.

Earlier reports stated that Laachraoui had participated in the attack, but had survived after leaving the scene without detonating his suicide vest. Prosecutors have now confirmed that the terrorist died.

Laachraoui is believed to have travelled to Syria in 2013. His DNA was found on some of the bombs used during last year's attacks in Paris.

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One person shot in police operation in Brussels

A suspect has been shot in Brussels in the neighborhood of Schaerbeek, where the Brussels attackers were at one point hiding out.

Belgian media reported a man had been shot and wounded in the right leg and taken into police custody. Photos from the scene appear to show a man lying on the ground at a tram stop with police pointing weapons at him. Video footage also shows the suspect being removed by police.

A witness to the operation told CNN: "He had a rifle with him in the metro underground … he was there and he came out, he had some rifle with him. He was shot by police."

Schaerbeek Mayor Bernard Clerfayt told broadcaster RTBF the operation was complete and one person was injured and arrested. He said the arrested individual was linked to Brussels attacks, but that has not been confirmed.

In another image the bomb squad with a robot are seen working at an apartment in the nearby area.

This video, shared by LaMeuse.be, shows the suspect being take away by police.

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Another person shared an image of the robot:

#Schaerbeek #Meiser Robot en vadrouille. Une bombe quelque part? 😥

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Brussels police failed to communicate on critical Abdeslam tip

Flemish newspaper De Morgen reported that police in Mechelen — a district on outskirts of Brussels — failed to pass along a critical information to other Belgian police authorities that Salah Abdeslam's relative had appeared increasingly radicalized.

Abdeslam was arrested at the home of that same relative last Friday in Brussels' Molenbeek neighborhood.

Mechelen's police chief, Yves Bogaerts, confirmed the mistake in a press conference.

"Unfortunately, a mistake has been made within my team," he said, according to De Morgen. "A colleague with an excellent record of service forgot to pass on the information from [Abdeslam's] file."

BuzzFeed News confirmed the lapse. Police didn't return a request for comment.

There is a large police bureaucracy is Brussels — there are 19 separate municipal police districts along with four administrative police zones.

Abdeslam appears to have fled to the unidentified relative's home last week after police raided a safe house in the Forrest neighborhood last Tuesday. —Mitch Prothero in Brussels

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At least two Americans killed in Brussels attacks.

Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.
Andrew Harnik / AP

Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.

At least two Americans have been confirmed killed in the Brussels attacks, the Associated Press reported Friday quoting a U.S. official. They have not been named publicly.

Meanwhile, speaking after meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel in Brussels, John Kerry said the "United States is praying and grieving with you for the loved ones of those cruelly taken from us, including Americans, and for the many who were injured in these despicable attacks."

Kerry did not provide details on the citizens but a senior official said the families of two Americans had been informed of their deaths in Tuesday's attacks.

"The United States stands firmly with Belgium and with the nations of Europe in the face of this tragedy."

"We — all of us representing countless nationalities — have a message for those who inspired or carried out the attacks here or in Paris, or Ankara, or Tunis, or San Bernardino, or elsewhere: We will not be intimidated. We will not be deterred. We will come back with greater resolve — with greater strength — and we will not rest until we have eliminated your nihilistic beliefs and cowardice from the face of the Earth."

Michel thanked Kerry for his visit: "It is very important for us today to receive your support."

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Brussels.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Brussels Friday morning for counter-terrorism talks with EU and Belgian officials, the Associated Press reports.

Kerry landed at Brussels Airport, which remains closed after Tuesday's attacks, for a short and last-minute trip from Moscow.

On his five-hour visit Kerry will meet with European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders as well as Belgium's King Philippe.

He is also lay a wreath at a memorial site for victims of the attacks.

Kerry boards a plane bound of Brussels in Moscow.
Andrew Harnik / AP

Kerry boards a plane bound of Brussels in Moscow.

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European authorities overwhelmed as hundreds of ISIS fighters return home

Vincent Kessler / Reuters

Hundreds of Europeans who fought alongside ISIS in Syria and Iraq have returned to a continent officials say lacks the resources to monitor them all.

The returning fighters are an increasing challenge to security and intelligence officials who believe recent terror attacks in Paris and Brussels are part of a continuing effort by ISIS to keep launching deadly attacks inside Europe, officials told BuzzFeed News.

Between 4,000 to 6,000 people from European countries have traveled to fight in Syria, Iraq, and Libya, and roughly 10% are believed to have returned, many bringing with them deadly expertise in weapons, explosives, and an extremist ideology that has already been spreading within European borders.

"Those people that have been traveling there two, three, four years ago, they are absolutely trained and ready to fight," French Senator Nathalie Goulet, who co-heads a commission to track jihadis, told BuzzFeed News. "For us, it's a new threat."

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Sources: Belgium issued international warrant for Brussels bomber

Ibrahim El Bakraoui is pictured in a July 2015 image taken by Gaziantep police.
Haberturk newspaper via AP

Ibrahim El Bakraoui is pictured in a July 2015 image taken by Gaziantep police.

Belgian authorities in January issued an international "red notice" for one of the suicide bombers in Tuesday's terrorist attacks in Brussels, a senior Turkish official told BuzzFeed News.

Red notices are a sort of international "wanted" poster that countries can issue to request help from Interpol and other nations in finding priority targets.

Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, who blew himself up Tuesday morning in the departure hall at Brussels Airport, along with a second suicide bomber, was the subject of the red notice, the official told BuzzFeed News.

Ibrahim's brother, Khalid, was also the subject of a different, earlier Interpol red notice for terrorism, and was wanted on a criminal warrant for violating his probation.

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Six people arrested in Brussels raids in connection with Tuesday's attack

Operación ahora en marcha en el barrio de Schaerbeek. Bruselas. Hemos oido una detonación a unas 4 manzanas.

Six people were arrested Thursday night in Brussels following a large-scale police operation, Reuters reported.

The operations included raids of homes in the neighborhood of Schaerbeek.

A spokesman for the federal prosecutor said three of the men had been arrested in front of the prosecutor's offices, AFP reported. More details about the arrests as well as whether the men would be formally charged was expected Friday.

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France arrests suspect in "advanced stages" of terror attack plot

Francois Mori / AP

France's interior minister on Thursday announced the arrest of a man in the "advanced stages" of planning another terrorist attack.

After weeks of investigation, officers raided a building in the northwestern suburb of Argenteuil, and arrested one French citizen, Bernard Cazeneuve said. Authorities believe they have now foiled the attack, Cazenueve added.

The arrest did not immediately appear to be linked to the earlier attacks in Paris or Brussels, he said.

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Belgian officials acknowledge mistakes before attacks

Belgium's Interior Minister Jan Jambon
Francois Lenoir / Reuters

Belgium's Interior Minister Jan Jambon

Speaking on Flemish television on Thursday, two Belgian leaders admitted for the first time that their government had made serious errors in the months and weeks leading to this week's terrorist attacks, the New York Times reported.

"What's essential in the story is that with the passing on of the information from Turkey and with the passing on of the information within Belgium, we have been slower than one could have expected under those circumstances," said Interior Minister Jan Jambon, according to the Times. "So, the information was passed on, but we have not been diligent, or probably not diligent enough."

Both Interpol and Turkey had warned Belgium that at least some of the attackers had ties to terrorism. Belgian officials, however, declined to take action, saying the attackers were only common criminals.

Both Jambon and Justice Minister Koen Green have offered their resignations, but as of Thursday they remained on their posts.

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Brother of Brussels attacker condemns him

Mourand Laachraoui, the brother of Najim Laachraoui, issued a statement on Thursday condemning his brothers actions, Le Monde reported.

Mourand wrote that he "fervently condemns his brothers actions as well as the attacks in which he was involved, in France and in Belgium," adding that he has "had no contact with his brother after he departed for Syria" in 2013.

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Netherlands say Turkey did not warn them about el-Bakraoui's terror ties

Ard van der Steur
Koen Van Weel / AFP / Getty Images

Ard van der Steur

Dutch Justice Minister Ard van der Steur on Thursday denied that Turkey had warned his country of Ibrahim el-Bakraoui's ties to terrorism when he was deported last year, the Associated Press reported.

El-Bakraoui, who was Belgian, was deported to the Netherlands at his own request. Turkey allows citizens of the European Union to pick the country to which they are sent.

In a letter to the Dutch parliament, Van der Steur said the Netherlands were not given any reason to detain el-Bakraoui and that his name had not appeared in any of the country's security databases.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had earlier said that his government warned both the Dutch and the Belgian government's about el-Bakraoui's involvement with ISIS. A senior Turkish official who declined to be named told BuzzFeed News that the Belgians acknowledged receipt of the warning, but declined to take any action.

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First on BuzzFeed News: Sources say Belgium attackers originally planned to strike the day after Easter

BRUSSELS — The attackers who bombed a Brussels airport and metro station initially intended to unleash their plot the day after Easter, but moved up the date following the arrest of Paris plotter Salah Abdeslam, a Belgian police official and a medical worker present at his treatment for a gunshot wound have told BuzzFeed News.

The two sources familiar with Abdeslam's arrest last Friday now believe his initial statement to investigators — saying other plots were underway and that he would fight extradition to France — was in fact a warning that another attack was imminent. It is unclear whether the same targets hit Tuesday were the original focus of the plan.

"He was talking openly to investigators about an attack planned for next Monday," said one police official. "Now we suspect that when his attorney announced that he was cooperating with police, it was a warning to the rest of the cell to move up the date of the operation."

"He was talking about a new operation," said the medical source, who was present while Abdeslam was treated for the gunshot wound to the leg he received during his capture. "It was almost like he was bragging to the hospital staff and police about how important he was."

Citing Belgium's strict privacy laws, both sources refused to be identified on the record.

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Former Belgian PM calls for special commission to investigate the attacks

Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP / Getty Images

The former leader of Belgium Elio di Rupo has called for a special commission of inquiry to investigate how the attacks happened.

"Les victimes & familles des victimes ont le droit de comprendre. 1 commission d’enquête devra faire toute la lumière" #hommage #Bruxelles

He told the parliamentary chamber that "victims and families of the victims have the right to understand."

"An inquiry will get to the bottom of this," he said.

The social democrat, who was Belgian's prime minister between 2011 and 2014 and remains leader of the country's opposition party PS, also said the country's security needed to be improved through better investment in the police, justice, defense, and intelligence services.

It follows reports that Washington's frustration with Belgian authorities grew in recent months, according to Reuters. A number of U.S. government sources said security officials faced difficulties exchanging information with their Belgian counterparts, and had expressed confusion over which department was handling individual aspects of the mounting number of cases.

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Stranded tourists begin to head home

Sophie Kip / AFP / Getty Images

Since the airport attack on Tuesday, around 500 stranded passengers have been stranded at a warehouse in Leuven, 23km to the east. But on Thursday, they were finally able to leave as the operation began to transfer them to Amsterdam by bus, reports BuzzFeed News' Rossalyn Warren.

Jet Airways – which was responsible for the majority of remaining stranded people as it had four planes arrive in Brussels on Tuesday morning, from Newark, Toronto, Mumbai, and Delhi – confirmed it was shuttling stranded travellers on 15 buses from Brussels to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.

A statement from the airline said: "Our guests are currently on their way from Brussels to Amsterdam by road transport. They are being accompanied by Jet Airways staff. The airline has made hotel arrangements in Amsterdam for their overnight stay, before they continue onward journey to their destination."

Passengers who survived the terror attacks in the airport were relieved to be finally en route home after a turbulent few days.

"After being in a freezing warehouse with not enough food for everyone I am finally home with my dad," Malua Rixen, one of the stranded passengers, told BuzzFeed News. "Dad and I are safe – he was also so lucky as he was at the metro station where the bomb went off just 10 minutes before, as his office is right above the station. But I can't complain – I thank god we are OK."

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Khalid el-Bakraoui had an accomplice at the subway station

Officials are certain there was a second attacker with Khalid el-Bakraoui at the metro station but it's not clear whether or not he survived the blast, according to the federal magistrate's office for Brussels.

Coroners are working to identify the victims but the process is expected to take some time due to the condition of the remains. DNA testing will have to be done in order to positively identify the badly damaged bodies, a Belgian terrorism expert who has spoken with government officials told BuzzFeed News.

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Suspected Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam will be extradited to France, says lawyer

Sven Mary, Salah Abdeslam's lawyer, arrives to the Council Chamber of Brussels.
Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP / Getty Images

Sven Mary, Salah Abdeslam's lawyer, arrives to the Council Chamber of Brussels.

Abdeslam, who was charged with "terrorist murder" over his alleged involvement in the Paris attacks following his capture in Brussels on March 18, previously indicated he would fight the extradition order.

But his lawyer, Sven Mary, told local media outside the court on Thursday his client had changed his mind and would no longer fight the extraction.

He said his client wished to return to France to "explain himself" and will travel "as soon as possible." Abdeslam has not spoken to investigators since the attacks on Tuesday.

Intense security outside the Council Chamber of Brussels greeted the arrival of the 26-year-old's lawyer. Abdeslam himself was not glimpsed by reporters outside the court, but Reuters reported he briefly appeared in court.

Amid Aberkan, a relative who is accused of sheltering him, and another man, also appeared in court alongside Abdeslam.

The identity of the second man remains unclear. He has used a number of alias, among them Amine Choukri, Monir Ahmed Alaaj and Soufien Ayari, the New York Times reported.

All three men, who were arrested last Friday during a raid on a property in Molenbeek, were remanded in custody until April 7, The Guardian reported.

Last week, the Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said, in the worst case scenario, it would take three months to return Abdeslam to France.

AP
Getty
AP
Getty
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Flights to and from Brussels airport continue to be suspended.

There will be no passenger flights into and out of #brusselsairport today Thursday 24 March & tomorrow Friday 25 March. Contact your airline

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Scores remain in critical condition in several hospitals following the explosions

Patrik Stollarz / AFP / Getty Images

More than 60 people remain in critical condition in hospital, Belgian's Health Minister Maggie de Block said in a statement on Wednesday night.

Four of these individuals were in comas, hampering the Belgian authority's efforts to identify victims of the two attacks on Tuesday.

Block said of about 300 people wounded — across 40 nationalities — 61 were in "intensive care" and being treated at several hospitals, most with highly specialised burn units, in nine provinces across Belgian.

Many were suffering from "war injuries" with burns and shrapnel wounds, she said.

Her comments were echoed by Jacques Creteur, head of the intensive care unit at Erasmus hospital, which is treating many of the wounded. "It's the kind of trauma seen in war," he told AFP.

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Videos from inside Brussels Airport and the subway capture the aftermath of the attacks

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Multiple videos recorded inside Brussels Airport and the city's busy subway system captured the devastating aftermath after bombs ripped through the Belgian capital on Tuesday.

Screams and crying are heard shortly after the blasts, and people can be seen getting up from the ground and hurriedly trying to make their way out of the smoke-filled airport.

Some travelers appear to remain on the ground, immobile and possibly injured.

"Stay down, stay down," one person could be heard saying in the airport as debris covers the ground and signs appear mangled from the blasts.

In another video, a person is heard trying to reassure people, saying, "It's OK, it's OK, it's OK."

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Another video, obtained by CNN from a taxi driver who had entered the airport looking for his son, shows haunting images of a fire still burning from the explosion and a toddler crying on the floor next to the body of a woman.

In the footage, people can be heard screaming in the distance, and pools of blood can be seen on the floor, covered in rubble.

First responders are also seen tending to the wounded.

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Frustration grows among hundreds of Brussels terror attack survivors stranded in Belgian warehouse

Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed News

Survivors of the Brussels Airport bombing are unsure just when they'll be able to finally go home, trapped in a defiant city and unsure of what's next.

Hundreds have been stranded at the Brabanthal warehouse, normally used for storing goods due for export, for more than 24 hours as they, along with the wider city, try to make sense of the twin attacks that struck Brussels on Tuesday, killing at least 31 people and injuring at least 200 more. All were inside the departures terminal at Brussels airport when the bombers struck.

They had been due to board flights to cities as far afield as New Delhi, Houston, London, and Detroit. But for many in the warehouse, relief at escaping the terror attacks unhurt was being replaced by growing frustration at being stranded with no access to their personal belongings, showers, or information on how long they'd be forced to stay.

BuzzFeed News spoke to stranded passengers in the warehouse, which has taken on the feel of a hectic departures lounge.

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U.S. citizens remain unaccounted for in Brussels after terror attacks

Yorick Jansens / AP

The State Department on Wednesday said an unknown number of Americans remain unaccounted for in the wake of the terror attacks in Brussels, but cautioned that officials are still in the process of assessing the impact of the bombings.

"‎We must emphasize that a number of U.S. citizens remain unaccounted for and the Kingdom of Belgium has not yet released nationality information for reported fatalities," Mark Toner, a deputy spokesman for the State Department, told BuzzFeed News. "Our own internal U.S. government accountability is ongoing, and we are making every effort to account for the welfare of both Chief of Mission personnel and U.S. citizens in the city."

About a dozen U.S. citizens were injured in the attacks, but so far, there were no known deaths, he added.

Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters Wednesday after briefings with intelligence officials that it appeared the attackers had targeted Americans. He noted that one blast at Brussels Airport was close to counters for U.S.-based airlines and that the explosion on the subway was close to the U.S. embassy.

"If you are going to pick some locations where you might hit Americans, those would be the locations," he said.

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Suspected Paris bombmaker identified as second suicide bomber in Brussels airport attack

Belgian Federal Police via AP

Investigators now believe that Najim Laachraoui, a 24-year-old Belgian citizen who is believed to have helped build the bombs used in Paris, was the second suicide bomber at the Brussels international airport, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

Prosecutors have identified the other suicide bomber as Ibrahim el-Bakraoui. A third unidentified bomber is believed to have fled the airport without detonating his explosives and is thought to remain on the run.

Laachraoui, who is believed to have travelled with Salah Abdeslam before and after the Paris attacks, was previously reported to have been the surviving airport attacker. But Le Monde is now reporting that the suspected bombmaker's DNA has led investigators to believe that he died in the attack.

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Turkey Official Says Belgium Was Warned Of Suspected Attacker's Terror Links

A senior Turkish official told BuzzFeed News that Turkish authorities warned Belgium that Ibrahim el-Bakraoui had links to ISIS as early as this summer but the Belgians declined to act.

After being detained in the city of Gaziantep, near the Turkey-Syria border, Ibrahim el-Bakraoui was sent to the Netherlands rather than to Belgium at his request, the senior official said, saying that Turkey allowed EU citizens to choose the country to which they will be deported.

The official said that on July 7 and July 14, the Turkish government notified the Belgians of its belief that el-Bakraoui had links to terrorism. Belgium replied on July 20, the official said, saying that they had detained him earlier but had released him for lack of evidence.

The official said that Turkey wrote back to Belgium to insist that el-Bakraoui was considered a foreign fighter with links to Syria. He said that his government was considering releasing the diplomatic notes between the two countries, but were holding back out of respect for the people of Belgium.

"This is a time for solidarity," the official said, "not the blame game." —Borzou Daragahi

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Hillary Clinton says the U.S. needs its allies now more than ever to defeat ISIS

Jason Redmond / AFP / Getty Images

Hillary Clinton denounced the policies proposed by Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz on how to combat ISIS calling their proposals dangerous.

Clinton spoke at Stanford University Wednesday afternoon, a day after the terror attacks in Brussels.

Following yesterday's attacks, which killed at least 31, Cruz called for police to patrol Muslim neighborhoods – a tactic Clinton described as "wrong. It is counterproductive. It is dangerous."

Clinton said that fighting ISIS will be the most important task for the commander in chief and highlighted ways to work with international allies to defeat the terrorists.

"Now it's our turn to stand with Europe," She said. "We cherish the same values and face the same adversaries so we must share the same determination."

Clinton also took aim at Trump's foreign policy, including his suggestion to build a wall at the U.S. border.

"How high does [the wall] have to be to keep the internet out," Clinton asked referring to ISIS's reliance on the internet to recruit members.

Clinton said that the United States needs its allies more than ever now.

"If Mr. Trump gets his way, it will be like Christmas in the Kremlin," she said.

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Turkey's president said one of Brussels attackers was captured in June and deported to the Netherlands

Umit Bektas / Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that one of the Brussels attackers was captured in Turkey back in June and deported, but was eventually released.

According to an official in the president's office, Ibrahim el-Bakraoui was captured near the Turkish-Syrian border and deported to the Netherlands, the AP reported. Erdogan initially said that the attacker had been turned over to Belgian authorities, but that was later corrected.

Although Turkish authorities had warned both Belgian and Dutch authorities that the attacker was "a foreign fighter," el-Bakraoui was later released.

"Despite our warnings that this person was a foreign terrorist fighter, Belgium could not establish any links with terrorism," Erdogan said Wednesday, according to the AP.

El-Bakraoui, 29, died Tuesday after detonating a suicide bomb at the Brussels airport.

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John Kerry will be visiting Brussels on Friday.

MAXIM ZMEYEV / Reuters

Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Brussels on Friday to offer his condolences in the wake of Tuesday's attacks, according to his spokesman John Kirby. Kerry is currently in Moscow where he is focusing on issues surrounding Syria and Ukraine.

BREAKING: Secretary of State John Kerry to travel to Brussels on Friday to express condolences.

.@JohnKerry will travel to #Brussels on Friday to express condolences for loss of life in terrorist attacks & meet w/ Belgian, EU officials.

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BuzzFeed News' Ryan Broderick reported live from Place de la Bourse in Brussels, Belgium.

Facebook: ryanpatrickbroderick

I'll be streaming live from Place de la Bourse in #Brussels on the @BuzzFeedNews Facebook in 10 minutes. Definitely check it out.

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Belgian suicide bomber was wanted on terrorism charges by Interpol

Khalid el-Bakraoui
Interpol

Khalid el-Bakraoui

Khalid el-Bakraoui, one of the brothers named by the Belgian prosecutor as being a suicide bomber during the attacks, was the subject of an Interpol wanted notice, the New York Times revealed.

The "red notice" alert, which was published on the Interpol website in 2015, said Khalid was wanted in Belgium on terrorism charges.

The notice said he was born on Jan. 12, 1989 and spoke French and Arabic. It said he was of Belgian and Bahamian nationality.

The Times reported that his brother Ibrahim did not appear on the Interpol website.

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Belgian federal prosecutor gives live press conference with latest on investigation

France 24

Belgium's Federal Prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw has just given a live press conference in French.

He said the death toll is at 31 and 260 people have been injured.

He confirmed Ibrahim el-Bakraoui was pictured in the middle of the CCTV footage released by police and his brother Khalid was the bomber at Maelbeek Metro.

Here is what he said according to a Sky News translation:

A photo showing the three suspects has been issued and one of them has been identified as Ibrahim el-Bakraoui with fingerprints. The second one on left has not been identified.

"The third man in a hat has not been identified and is still on the run, his bomb did not explode and contained the biggest charge.

"A taxi driver told police he took the three people to the airport and we went to the address in Schaerbeek and found 30 liters of oxygenated water and a case full of nails and equipment for bomb making.

"Investigators also found a computer containing the will of Brahim. One person was brought in for questioning from Schaerbeek last night and is now being investigated by police. Another was brought in and freed shortly are being interrogated.

The explosion in Maelbeek happened within the second branch of the track and this was a question of Khalid el-Bakraoui — a Belgian national. Both of these people (Ibrahim and Khalid) had heavy police files, not connected with crimes they committed.

It is not desirable to give any further information at the moment.

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Crowds gather to hold minute's silence across Brussels

Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP / Getty Images
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, King Philippe of Belgium, European Union Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, Queen Mathilde of Belgium and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel hold a minute of silence with EU commissioners at the EU headquarters.
Thierry Charlier / AFP / Getty Images

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, King Philippe of Belgium, European Union Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, Queen Mathilde of Belgium and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel hold a minute of silence with EU commissioners at the EU headquarters.

Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP / Getty Images
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Minute's silence to be held across Brussels in memory of the victims

RTBF

A minute's silence is about to begin at locations across Brussels (noon local time). The government has asked the public to observe the silence in memory of the victims of yesterday's attacks.

A crowd has begun to gather in a square outside the Brussels Stock Exchange in the city centre.

Belgium's royal family and Prime Minister Charles Michel will participate at the Schuman roundabout in Brussels.

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UK prime minister says one British citizen is missing after the Brussels attacks and four others were injured

Ben Pruchnie / Getty Images

At a security meeting Wednesday morning, British Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed four Britons had been injured in the Brussels attacks. One other man remains missing.

"We are concerned about one missing British national and we are in close contact with the Belgian authorities. We are aware of four British nationals who were injured in the attacks — three are being treated in hospital, one has already been discharged. Our embassy staff are working to assist all British nationals affected," Cameron said.

"In terms of travel advice, we continue to advise people to follow the advice of the Belgian authorities. Therefore we are no longer advising against travel to Brussels. British nationals in Belgium should remain alert and vigilant, stay away from crowded places, and follow the instructions of the Belgian authorities.

"Here in the UK, we stepped up the security presence at a number of locations across the country yesterday and we will maintain this in the coming days. The national threat level remains at 'severe' (an attack is highly likely) and the public are advised to be 'alert but not alarmed'."

The UK government will observe a minute's silence at 11 a.m. local time, he added.

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Belgian news site retracts story claiming suspect Najim Laachraoui had been arrested

#NajimLaachraoui arrested in Anderlecht https://t.co/RvkRAvq4lt #BrusselsAttacks

Belgian news site DH.be reported earlier that Najim Laachraoui had been arrested by Belgian police Wednesday morning. They have now retracted this assertion and said "contrary to what we announced, the man arrested in Anderlecht was not Najim Laachraoui."

Local media have reported that a suspect has been arrested this morning but there has been no official confirmation. A press conference will be held at 1 p.m. local time.

DH.be reported earlier today that the third man pictured in CCTV from Brussels Airport was Laachraoui.

Laachraoui was named by authorities Monday as being an accomplice to arrested Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam.

Prosecutors said he was also known by the alias Soufiane Kayal.

In a statement released at the time, they said he had been using false IDs and that his DNA had been found in houses used by the suspected jihadi network.

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Belgian media say they have identified two of the attackers pictured in CCTV

Belgian police officials

Belgian broadcaster RTBF has identified two of the Brussels attackers as brothers Khalid and Ibrahim el-Bakraoui.

The CCTV image above was released by Belgian police after the attacks. Belgian media claim the man in the middle of the image is el-Bakraoui.

RTBF reported a police source had confirmed to them that the brothers were known to police for links to organized crime.

The identifications published by RTBF have not been confirmed by police or authorities publicly at this time.

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First victim in Brussels attacks officially identified as Peruvian woman

Adelma Marina Tapia Ruiz
Via facebook.com

Adelma Marina Tapia Ruiz

Peru's foreign ministry announced Adelma Marina Tapia Ruiz, 37, was killed in the attack at Brussels Airport.

Fernando Tapia, the woman's brother, told a Peruvian radio station she was at the airport Tuesday morning to catch a flight to New York, the Associated Press reported.

Her Belgian husband, Christophe Delcambe, and their twin 4-year-old daughters, Maureen and Alondra, had left the area where the explosions occurred and were unhurt.

In a statement, the Peruvian government said the country's consulate in Brussels was in contact with her family to provide them with support and assistance.

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Tip from taxi driver led Belgian authorities to bomb, ISIS flag

Christian Hartmann / Reuters

A tip from a taxi driver who transported the three suspected bombers to Brussels Airport Tuesday morning later led authorities to a home where they found a bomb, chemicals, and an ISIS flag, according to local reports.

The driver reportedly told authorities the three men were upset with him because there wasn't enough room in his cab for all of their luggage, forcing the men to leave some of their bags behind.

Unnamed U.S. officials also told CNN the taxi driver recognized the men after authorities released surveillance images.

Local reports said the driver was able to remember the address where he picked up the three men before dropping them off at the airport.

The tip led investigators to Schaerbeek, the district in Brussels where authorities found a bomb with nails and chemicals.

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Authorities release new images of suspected Brussels Airport attackers

Authorities released additional images late Tuesday of the three men suspected in the deadly attack on Belgium's Brussels Airport.

Police believe the two men in dark shirts detonated their bombs near a flight check-in desk, while the third man, in a khaki jacket, is the subject of an intense manhunt.

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U.S. State Department issues travel alert for all of Europe

The State Department's travel alert, issued Tuesday following the Brussels attacks, warned of "potential risks" throughout Europe. Belgium was listed with a Level 4 (maximum) threat rating for a "serious and imminent attack."

Terrorists are planning "near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation," the State Department said. Travelers are advised to be cautious and, if in Brussels, reach out to U.S. officials.

The alert is significant for covering the entire continent and is in effect until June 20.

Previous recent travel alerts and warnings have covered specific countries, such as Turkey, the Republic of Congo, and Iran.

The State Department had previously issued a worldwide caution notice on March 3 that warned of violence from ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other terror organizations.

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BuzzFeed reporters observed hundreds of people attending vigils in Brussels late into the night

I'm in the center of #Brussels tonight, where hundreds have gathered for a vigil

The vigils and makeshift memorials in Brussels were in addition to the tributes and displays of solidarity that went up across the world, from Rome to Dubai.

The scenes in Brussels were similar to those in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris last year, first on Charlie Hebdo's office in January and then in November at multiple locations.

But several people Tuesday night told BuzzFeed News that Brussels was different.

"This is not like Paris," one attendee said.

The people holding this sign are also blaring out Nina Simone's "Feeling Good" #BrusselsAttack

Follow BuzzFeed News reporters Ryan Broderick and Rossalyn Warren on Twitter for updates from the scene in Brussels.

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Trump wants to use waterboarding, other forms of torture to interrogate terror suspects

Jim Bourg / Reuters

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump told CNN on Tuesday that he would push to change U.S. laws to allow the use of torture when interrogating terror suspects.

"They can chop off heads, they can down people in steal cages...and we can't waterboard," he said in an interview with Wolf Blitzer.

Waterboarding — a technique in which water is poured over a retrained captive to simulate drowning — was banned by the Bush administration in 2006 and again by President Obama.

Trump on Tuesday said he believes that Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam, who was captured in Brussels this week, knew about Tuesday's plot and may have even been involved.

Authorities have said Abdeslam is cooperating with investigators, but Trump suggested waterboarding could have sped up the investigation and possibly thwarted the Brussels attacks.

"He may be talking, but he'll talk a lot faster with the torture," Trump said.

He also reiterated his claims that there are so called "no go" neighborhoods that local European police refuse to patrol. Trump agreed with a proposal put forth by rival Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who has called for patrolling of Muslim neighborhoods in U.S. cities.

"I think that's a good idea. I would support that. Yes. 100%," Trump said.

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U.S. Air Force officer, family injured in Brussels attacks

Sylvain Lefevre / Getty Images

The Air Force on Tuesday confirmed that a service member and his family were injured in the Brussels terror attacks, U.S. officials confirmed Tuesday.

The Air Force did not release the identity of the airman or the number of family members affected, saying only that they suffered "various injuries."

However, U.S. officials told the Associated Press that the airman was a lieutenant colonel, and that he and his family were injured at the attacks in the airport.

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Obama orders American flag to be flown at half-staff after Brussels attacks

Facebook: video.php

President Obama has ordered the U.S. flag to be flown at half-staff at the White House and all public buildings as a sign of respect and solidarity with the victims of the Brussels attack.

"The American people stand with the people of Brussels," the proclamation signed by Obama read. "We will do whatever it takes, working with nations and peoples around the world, to bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice, and to go after terrorists who threaten our people."

The flag will also remain at half-staff until Saturday at U.S. embassies and consular offices across the world.

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TSA deploying additional security after Brussels attacks

New York City police patrol the new Oculus Path station in lower Manhattan.
Spencer Platt / Getty Images

New York City police patrol the new Oculus Path station in lower Manhattan.

The Transportation Security Administration is deploying extra security to major U.S. transportation hubs after the deadly Brussels attacks, the Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday.

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said there are no credible threats against the U.S. at this time, but the additional security would be deployed to major U.S. airports and transportation hubs, including rail and transit stations.

"At present, we have no specific, credible intelligence of any plot to conduct similar attacks here in the United States," Johnson said in a statement. "That said, we remain focused on the threat posed by lone terrorist actors who may lack direct connection to a foreign terrorist organization."

The Secretary of Homeland Security did not say travelers coming to the U.S. from Belgium would face additional security, but stated there are already procedures in place to identify suspicious individuals traveling from Belgium.

Homeland Security would be evaluating if any additional measures were needed.

The agency has also reached out to local police departments across the country to provide information about any possible threats, and for local law enforcement enhance their "security posture as they deem appropriate."

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Here's a narrative write-up of everything you need to know about the attacks

Charles Platiau / Reuters

Michel Mpoy, a 65-year-old Congolese immigrant, was making his way to the Brussels Airport to welcome a good friend due to arrive from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Shortly after 8 a.m. local time, Mpoy heard a loud bang. A cloud of smoke filled the area, he told the AFP. Then there were terrifying screams and the thruming sounds of hundreds of people starting to run at the same time, some wheeling their suitcases. "It was a stampede," he said.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a coordinated terror attack in Brussels, Belgium, on Tuesday, detonating an explosive in the city's heart on a crowded rush-hour subway train and setting off dual suicide bombs near the departures lounge of the busy international airport. The attacks killed at least 31 and injured dozens more.

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An x-ray image of a person wounded during the attacks shows a nail or screw in the chest

STRINGER/EPA/Newscom

An x-ray image of a person injured during the Brussels terror attacks shows a big nail or screw in the chest. The patient was treated the Military Hospital in Neder-over-Heembeek in northern Brussels.

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Belgian federal prosecutor says bomb and ISIS flag found in house raid in Brussels

Investigators with the federal prosecutor's office found a bomb with nails and chemical products in a house in the Brussels neighborhood of Schaerbeek, several outlets reported.

The raid, which is one of many currently taking place around the country, also turned up an ISIS flag.

Speaking at an earlier press conference, Frédéric Van Leeuw, Belgium's top federal prosecutor, said the two bombs detonated at the airport were "probably" suicide vests. He added that the authorities were "actively looking" for a third suspect, and cautioned against taking ISIS' claim of responsibility at face value.

"It's too early to make a connection with the Paris attacks," he said, according to Le Monde and France 24. "A number of different investigations are currently taking place across the country."

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This refugee child has an incredibly moving message for the people of Brussels

Andrej Isakovic / AFP / Getty Images

The boy held the placard expressing sympathy for the victims of the attacks during a protest by refugees at a makeshift camp near the village of Idomeni at the Greek-Macedonian border.

He is among 10,500 refugees at the Idomeni camp that is facing dire conditions with lack of basic services and where children are suffering from scabies, influenza and dysentery, according to the British Red Cross.

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Prime minister says that Belgium will defend its freedoms

Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images

Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel said in a press conference Tuesday evening that, although Belgians may been saddened and grieving after the deadly attacks earlier in the day, the country is ready to defend their freedoms. He also said that the country would be tightening security at its borders, according to the AP.

Michel said that the victims lives were cut short by extreme barbarism while they were headed to work or school. He said these attacks on Belgian soil will stay with the country forever.

He went on to thank security forces who have been hard at work for several months amid heightened terror threat levels and also thanked the first responders for their work.

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American describes panicked scene after airport explosions

Ellen Eato

In an interview with BuzzFeed News hours after a pair of explosions hit near her check-in desk — killing at least 11 and injuring scores more — Ellen Eato described a scene of panic as thousands of people poured out of the airport.

"At first I saw a few girls walking really quickly toward me, crying and talking on their phones," Eato, a Philadelphia native who had just moved to Antwerp with her husband, told BuzzFeed News.

They were soon joined by a large crowd rushing toward the back of the terminal.

"I felt like I was swimming against the current," Eato said.

Hours later she was able to get to a friend's house.

"I don't really know how to react right now — I don't feel anything."

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Here's what happened in the week leading up to the Brussels attacks

In the week leading up to the deadly attacks in Brussels, Belgian authorities conducted a raid in what they thought was an empty apartment in the Molenbeek area and wound up killing Mohamed Belkaid, a 35-year-old Algerian man, after he opened fire on authorities. In that raid forensics officers obtained DNA and fingerprints for Paris attack suspect Saleh Abdeslam.

Three days later, on Friday, authorities captured Abdeslam in a raid on another house in Molenbeek. He was shot in the leg during the capture and was treated and released from a hospital for that injury. On Saturday, he was charged with "terrorist murder" for his role in the Nov. 13 attack in Paris that killed 130 people.

Then on Monday, Abdeslam's lawyer announced that his client plans to sue the French prosecutor for breaching his confidentiality after the prosecutor told reporters that Abdeslam had initially planned to be a suicide bomber in the Paris attack but then changed his mind.

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Belgian police release image of suspected airport attackers

Belgian police officials
  • Belgian police confirmed to BuzzFeed News's Mitch Prothero that this photo shows three suspected airport attackers.
  • Authorities have said that one of the two blasts at the airport was from a suicide bomber.
  • A Kalashnikov rifle was also found on the ground at the airport.
  • Police said they are searching for the man on the right.
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A U.S. service member and his family were injured in the attacks, the Associated Press reported

The U.S. European command said it would not release any other details on their injuries or the number of family members involved due to privacy concerns, the AP reported.

The command said it was in the process of confirming the safety of other U.S. military personnel and their families in the region.

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Saint-Pierre University Hospital treating several wounded at train station

More than a dozen people wounded at the Maelbeek train station were taken to Saint-Pierre University Hospital for treatment. Of the 15, five needed to undergo major operations and one victim remains in a coma, Chief of Medicine Dusart Michelle Martin said. Other victims were taken to military hospitals to be treated for burns, Martin added but was unable to supply a total number of victims.

Though all public military and government building are closed to the public, due to the level-4 terror threat, the public is being asked to come and donate blood. A special zone has been set up outside for that purpose, Martin said.

–Mitch Prothero in Brussels

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Joseph Empey
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Joseph Empey

Richard Norby (right)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Richard Norby (right)

Mason Wells
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Mason Wells

Joseph Empey
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Joseph Empey

Richard Norby (right)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Richard Norby (right)

Mason Wells
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Mason Wells

They were identified by the church as Richard Norby, 66, Joseph Empey, 20, and Mason Wells, 19. All three were serving in the Paris mission and were accompanying a fourth French missionary, Fanny Rachel Clain, 20, to the airport, when the explosion occurred, according to a statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Clain, who was on her way to Ohio, had already passed through airport security when the attack happened.

The three missionaries have been hospitalized and their families have been notified, the church said.

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Lockdown has been lifted in Brussels

Though the Belgian crisis center says that the threat of further attacks has not gone away, residents in Brussels are able to move about the city following a lockdown.

As of 4 p.m. local time, people are no longer required to stay indoors, public transportation has resumed and train stations have been reopened, according to the crisis center. As the residents start to move about the city, the crisis center has urged people to "remain vigilant."

While public transportation is going back online, Zaventem airport will remain closed at least through Wednesday but may be closed longer, according to the AP.

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ISIS claims responsibility for Brussels attack

Islamic State fighters carried out the attacks across Brussels, with "a series of bombings with explosive belts and devices," according to the Site Intel Group, citing a statement from ISIS-affiliated Amaq News Agency.

Belgium was targeted for "participating in the international coalition against the Islamic State."

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Three days of mourning announced

Belgium's Interior Minister Jan Jambon has announced three days of national mourning following today's attacks, Le Soir reports.

Officials have also said that Brussels Midi, Brussels Central and Brussels Nord train stations will reopen at 4 p.m. local time, broadcaster VRT reported.

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Footage shows people stuck inside the airport and subway after the attacks (Warning: This video contains disturbing images)

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Obama addresses attacks, offers support to "bring to justice those who are responsible"

White House

Before beginning his an address during his visit to Cuba, President Obama delivered a few remarks on the Belgian attacks, pledging solidarity with the European country.

"We will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally Belgium in bringing to justice those who are responsible," he said.

He said the attacks were "yet another reminder that the world must unite. We must be together regardless of nationality, or race, or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism."

"We can and we will defeat the people who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world," he added.

Obama also called the Belgium's Prime Minister:

Obama called Belgian PM @CharlesMichel to offer condolences after #BrusselsAttacks

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People decorate streets of Brussels with messages of peace

People have begun writing messages of peace on the streets of Brussels following the morning's terror attacks.

People have been photographed using chalk to writes messages like "pray for Belgium" and "let's take back control of our world" near the Place de la Bours, home of Belgium's stock exchange.

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Brussels mayor says death toll at metro station rises to 20

A Belgian soldier stands guard outside the Maelbeek metro station.
Cedric Simon / AFP / Getty Images

A Belgian soldier stands guard outside the Maelbeek metro station.

Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur has just spoken about the attacks. He confirmed the death toll at the Maelbeek metro station had risen to 20.

"Hate has struck down on our city. This is an attack on our values, freedom and democracy. A big task awaits us to turn Brussels once again into an open cosmopolitan city," broadcaster VRT reported him as saying.

"Maelbeek Metro Station has at least 20 fatalities. 106 people have been injured. Dozens of people are in shock.

"This morning Brussels has been hit by a murderous violence we haven't seen before. Restoring the balance will be difficult. My condolences to the family and relatives of the victims."

Brussels Minister-President Rudi Vervoort added: "We're trying everything we can to get above ground public transportation running again today. We ask parents not to arrive at schools before the end of the lessons."

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Police forces in UK step up security

Police forces across the UK have responded to the terror attacks in Brussels on Tuesday with an increased presence at major public transport hubs.

London's Metropolitan Police Service said it was stepping up officer numbers at key sites as a precaution and to reassure the public. The force stressed that this was not in response to any specific intelligence or information regarding a UK attack.

And British Prime Minister David Cameron said now was the time to "stand together against these appalling terrorists and make sure they can never win".

"I've also made sure that we've offered every support to the Belgian security and intelligence and policing force.

"These are difficult times, these are appalling terrorists but we must stand together to do everything that we can to stop them and to make sure that while they attack our way of life and they attack us because of who we are, we will never let them win."

The UK's terror alert level has not been raised and remains at "severe" — the level it's been at since August 2014 — meaning an attack is highly likely.

Belgians are helping each other using the hashtag #IkWilHelpen.

People in Brussels are opening their homes and their cars using the hashtags #OpenHouse and #IkWilHelpen as the city reels from the explosions at the airport and a metro station.

Across the country, many Belgians started tweeting under the hashtag "#IkWilHelpen", or "I want to help", offering their support.

Meanwhile, stranded commuters have tweeted that drivers had offered them lifts from the city centre.

If someone is lost near #Flagey I can help with some hot chocolate, wifi and comfort. DM are open. #OpenHouse #Brussels #Schuman #Zaventem

If you’re stuck in Brussels, we have a sofa. We’re rue Edith Cavell, near Churchill #OpenHouse

Read more here.

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Belgian authorities overwhelmed by terror investigations

From BuzzFeed News reporter Mitch Prothero in Brussels:

Belgian counter-terrorism officials have been on high alert for years as hundreds of citizens and residents have departed for the battlefields of Syria and Iraq. One Belgian official said that besides the names of hundreds of fighters believed to be abroad, the security services have more than 200 open files related to threats at home and in Europe. But they remain flooded with questions about how and why they missed a key member of the Paris attacks for more than four months, and will have to explain how just four days after his arrest, the country was devastated by a double attack on both the international airport and a metro station that feeds Europe's central government, hardly areas considered soft or easy targets.

One Belgian counter-terrorism official told BuzzFeed News last week that due to the small size of the Belgian government and the huge numbers of open investigations — into Belgian citizens suspected of either joining ISIS, being part of radical groups in Belgium, and the ongoing investigations into last November's attacks in Paris, which appeared to be at least partially planned in Brussels and saw the participation of several Belgian citizens and residents — virtually every police detective and military intelligence officer in the country was focused on international jihadi investigations.

"We just don't have the people to watch anything else and, frankly, we don't have the infrastructure to properly investigate or monitor hundreds of individuals suspected of terror links, as well as pursue the hundreds of open files and investigations we have," the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said.

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Death toll rises to 26, officials confirm

The death toll has now risen to 26 according to official reports.

A spokesperson for the Brussels Metro said 15 people were killed and 55 injured in an explosion on a train.

And Belgian Health Minister Maggie De Block told broadcaster RTBF that 11 people had died in the explosions at the airport. De Block said the blasts at the airport also wounded 81 people.

Belgian media had initially reported at least 13 dead in two explosions at the airport, but later reported that number as 11.

Rescue teams evacuate wounded people outside the Maelbeek metro station.
AFP / Getty Images

Rescue teams evacuate wounded people outside the Maelbeek metro station.

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French president: "A war against terrorism is now being fought"

French President Francois Hollande has just given a press conference on the attacks. He said France stood with Belgium.

"We are standing and looking at a global menace. France and Belgium are joined by a horror we are having to share," he said.

"A war against terrorism is now being fought by all of Europe. And this is a war that is necessary."

Hollande said the French government had "taken the measures to reinforce the border, as well as reinforce police in state areas."

"This war against terrorism needs to be carried out with cold blood and we need to put all the measures in place, like we have in the past years, so that all these measures are efficient and we are doing all we can for our unity, our European unity and our international unity.

"I speak on behalf of France that you can be sure of the fact that Francis is doing everything it can to make sure the situation is under control."

France's interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, said earlier that up to 1,600 extra police officers had been deployed to the border between France and Belgium.

French President Francois Hollande talks with French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Prime Minister Manuel Valls.
Stephane De Sakutin / AFP / Getty Images

French President Francois Hollande talks with French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

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NATO headquarters in Brussels raises alert level

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said released a statement on the attacks.

I am deeply saddened by the attacks here in Brussels this mornning. The heavy human toll is tragic.

My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones, with all affected, and with the people of Belgium. We all stand together with our ally Belgium on this dark day.

This is a cowardly attack. An attack on our values and on our open societies. Terrorism will not defeat democracy and take away our freedoms. We have decided to increase the alert state at NATO headquarters. We remain vigilant and continue to monitor the situation very closely.

Two women at the airport after the explosions.
Ketevan Kardava

Two women at the airport after the explosions.

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Death toll at metro station rises to 15

Belgium's public transport authority has confirmed 15 people were killed in the explosion at Maelbeek metro station.

A further 55 people were wounded in the attack, 10 of them are in a critical condition.

Our thoughts go to the victims and their families. So far 15 victims, 55 wounded (provisional) #Maelbeek #STIB #MIVB #Brussels

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Belgian prime minister: "This is a dark moment for our nation"

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has just given a press conference.

"What we've feared has happened, we were hit by unforeseen attacks," he said.

"This is a dark moment for our nation. We need calm and solidarity. We know there are many dead, many injured."

He said there was no information to link the attacks to the arrest of Salah Abdeslam.

Le procureur fédéral confirme 2 explosions à Zaventem dont une par un Kamikaze et 1 explosion à Maelbeek

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Beware fake footage: Old CCTV footage circulating

People are sharing CCTV footage of an airport attack from 2011, claiming it's from Tuesday morning's attack in Brussels.

Multiple sources are sharing a video from news site Press TV, claiming it was lifted from the CCTV inside Brussels Airport.

The footage actually shows an attack on Domodedovo airport in Moscow in 2011. The attack left 35 dead and 180 injured.

A one-picture debunking of #Brussels CCTV footage. Hoaxers work fast. If you see it shared, ask them to unshare.

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Local media report 10 killed in metro blast

Local media are now reporting up to 10 people were killed in the separate attack on the Maalbeek metro station.

This death toll is provisional and has not been confirmed by authorities.

A police spokesperson speaking to press would not confirm numbers.

"There are people injured and dead. At this stage we have no idea about the number of people. Not all victims have been identified at this stage. We ask everyone to stay inside."

This was the scene a short while ago, between the Arts-Lois and Maelbeek metro stations in Brussels.

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EU President Donald Tusk: "I am appalled by the bombings"

EU President Donald Tusk has released this statement this morning:

I am appalled by the bombings this morning at Zaventem airport and the European district in Brussels which have cost several innocent lives and injured many others.

I extend my sincerest sympathies to the relatives and friends of the victims. These attacks mark another low by the terrorists in the service of hatred and violence.

The European institutions are hosted in Brussels thanks to the generosity of Belgium's government and its people. The European Union returns this solidarity now and will fulfill its role to help Brussels, Belgium and Europe as a whole counter the terror threat which we are all facing.

European Council President Donald Tusk.
Reuters

European Council President Donald Tusk.

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Prosecutor confirms attack on airport was a suicide attack

Belgian public broadcaster RTBF has reported Brussels' prosecutor has confirmed the explosion at the airport was a suicide bombing.

Belgian media are so far still reporting the death toll stands at 13. At this time it remains unclear whether anyone died in the metro explosion.

Jonas Roosens / AFP / Getty Images
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American Airlines has released the following statement. The explosion in the airport occurred near its departure desk.

We are aware of an incident at the Brussels airport departure hall and are taking care of our customers, employees and contractors.

At this time, all of our employees and contractors are accounted for with no reported injuries. American Airlines flight 751 has been canceled for today. When operations at the airport resume, we will reaccommodate our customers.

Customers with flights to or from Brussels may call our reservations desk at +1-800-679-8215 to get the latest information on their flights.

Francois Lenoir / Reuters
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In this image made from video, emergency rescue workers stretcher an unidentified person at the site of an explosion at a metro station in Brussels.

In this image made from video, emergency rescue workers stretcher an unidentified person at the site of an explosion at a metro station in Brussels.

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If you are attempting to contact relatives in Belgium, avoid phone calls. The mobile network is saturated and people are being urged to use data messages instead.

IMPORTANT: Brussels mobile networks are getting saturated. Please contact through data messages: Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter. Avoid calls

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Belgian authorities have told Brussels residents to remain where they are following the explosions, the Associated Press has reported.

And all EU personnel have been told to stay in their offices or at home.

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Death toll now at 13, Belgian media reports.

Belgian broadcaster VRT is now reporting 13 people are dead after the explosions at the airport.

Another 35 are believed to be severely injured.

Those evacuated from the airport have been taken to crisis centers by bus. People have been asked to stay away from the airport.

All rail traffic to and from the airport has been shut down. All flights heading to Brussels have been diverted.

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Explosions take place just days after Paris attack suspect arrested.

The explosions have occurred just days after Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam was captured in a police raid in Brussels.

He has since been charged Saturday with "terrorist murder" by Belgian authorities.

Abdeslam was hospitalized but has since been released and questioned by authorities. France has requested his urgent extradition.

An arrest warrant was issued for Abdeslam after investigators determined he and his brother Ibrahim had rented cars in Belgium that were used during last year's attack in Paris.

AP
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Death toll now at 10, media report.

Belgian broadcaster RTBF, citing a hospital source, has reported that at least 10 people are dead and 30 more are wounded in the Brussels Airport explosions.

Police have yet to release an official death toll.

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All underground train stations in Belgium are now closed.

Speaking after the explosions at the airport, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said the "federal government is monitoring the situation closely. Absolute priority goes to the victims and to the aid at the airport."

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Reports of separate explosion at Belgian metro station.

Belgian media are reporting another explosion has occured, this time at the Maalbeek Metro station.

This is unconfirmed at this time.

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Belgium's interior minister raises terror level.

The Belgian interior minister has raised the country's terror level to its maximum level.

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Video posted on Facebook shows the extent of the damage inside the terminal.

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People are gathering outside the terminal waiting for buses to take them away from the airport now.

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Police say at least one person has died.

Police have reported at least one person has died and many others have been injured, the Associated Press reports.

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Explosion appears to have happened in a departure lounge and caused significant damage.

Photos on social media show windows blown out by the blast and debris littering the airport floor.

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Sky News reporter Alex Rossi was in the airport at the time of the explosions. "We heard the walls shake and dust began falling from the ceiling. There's no doubt in my mind that the explosion happened in the building."

All flights have been grounded, and train travel to the airport has been canceled.

There have been 2 explosions at the airport. Building is being evacuated. Don't come to the airport area.

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Two explosions have been reported at Brussels Airport, leading to the lockdown and evacuation of the building.

Just before 8am local time, two loud explosions were heard in the departure lounge, and images of the airport show smoke rising from one of the terminal buildings.

#BREAKING: Two loud explosions at #Zaventem airport in #Brussels


This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.

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