Brussels Suicide Bomber Made Bombs for Paris Attacks

Officials had just asked for help finding him
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2016 2:40 PM CDT
Brussels Suicide Bomber Made Bombs for Paris Attacks
Najim Laachraoui   (Belgian Federal Police via AP)

One of the two suicide bombers that killed at least 30 people at the Brussels airport Tuesday was the same man who made two of the bombs used in the terrorist attacks on Paris in November, authorities confirmed Friday. The New York Times identified the man as 24-year-old Belgian citizen Najim Laachraoui. Laachraoui's DNA was found on a suicide belt at the Bataclan music venue and an explosive device at the Stade du France following the Paris attacks, NBC News reports. Authorities asked for help finding him on Monday, three days after they arrested Paris attacker and suspected accomplice Salah Abdeslam. On Tuesday, Laachraoui used a bomb hidden in a suitcase to blow himself up at the Brussels airport.

Laachraoui left Belgium for Syria in 2013, Reuters reports. His family says it saw no sign of radicalization beforehand and has no idea what happened. Laachraoui's family warned police after he left for Syria. His brother, 20-year-old Mourad, remembers his brother as "nice" and "clever." "Mourad and his whole family are crushed that Najim could have committed such a barbaric act," Reuters quotes Mourad's lawyer as saying. Mourad, who represents Belgium in international taekwondo competitions, says he will do whatever it takes to keep his three younger siblings from following his brother's path. (More Brussels stories.)

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