- Belgian Federal Police
Belgian authorities have launched a public appeal for help in the search for the “man in the hat” suspect captured in an image on Brussels Airport CCTV cameras moments before two other men in the image detonated themselves and killed 14 other people last month.
The police released new images of the man, who has not yet been identified but is believed to be alive, on its official Twitter account Thursday morning.
The photos zoom in on the man’s clothes, particularly the white trench coat, hat, and shoes he was wearing at the time of the attack.
The police also released a video of the suspect:
— Mark Stone (@Stone_SkyNews) April7, 2016
Freelance journalist Faycal Cheffou was incorrectly identified as the man in the days after the attack. He was released days after being arrested because of a lack of evidence linking him to the bombings.
Thirty-five peoplewere killedand hundreds more were wounded after explosions ripped through the airportand at the Maelbeek metro station in Brussels on March 22.
Ibrahim El Bakraoui and his brother,Khalid, were named as suicide bombers in the attacks by the Belgian police the day after the attacks. Ibrahim died at the airport, while his brother died at the metro station, according to the police.
The police believe 24-year-old Najim Laachraoui, who appears in the photo’s far left, with Ibrahim El Bakraoui between him and the “man in the hat” suspect, was the second airport bomber. Laachraoui, described by the police as an ISIS bombmaker who made suicide vests used both in the Brussels attacks and in the November Paris attacks, also died at the airport.
Only one day before the attacks, Laachraoui had been named by Belgian officials as a suspected accompliceof Salah Abdeslam, an ISIS militant suspected of carrying out the Paris attacks, which killed 130 people.
Abdeslam was detained in a raid by the Belgian police the week before the Brussels bombings and has been charged in relation to the Paris attacks. Investigators believe Abdeslam would have been involved in the Brussels plot had he not been captured days prior, but his lawyer insistedthat his client “was not aware” that the Brussels attacks were being planned.