Belgium Authorities Think They've Got 'Man in the Hat'

'Several arrests' made in Belgium linked to Paris, Brussels terror attacks
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2016 10:56 AM CDT
Belgium Authorities Think They've Got 'Man in the Hat'
This undated photo provided by Belgian Federal Police shows Mohamed Abrini, who was reportedly arrested Friday in connection with recent attacks in Paris and Brussels.   (Belgian Federal Police via AP)

Mohamed Abrini, one of the suspects in the November Paris attacks (and said to be likely involved in last month's Brussels attacks) was arrested Friday in Brussels, unnamed sources tell Belgian broadcaster VRT, via Reuters—and he's likely the mysterious "man in the hat" seen in surveillance video at the Brussels airport with two suicide bombers. The man in the hat was believed to have been carrying a bomb that malfunctioned and never went off, the Telegraph notes. The prosecutor's office wouldn't confirm it had Abrini in custody, but it did say "several arrests" had been made, per the AP, and VRT says a second name that's emerged is that of Osama Krayem, believed to have accompanied another suicide bomber on the metro on the day of the Brussels bombings.

On Thursday, Belgian authorities issued a call to the public to look for a hooded jacket that the man in the hat eventually discards in the March 22 footage, which shows him leaving the Zaventem airport that morning wearing the jacket, then reappearing at a street intersection an hour or so later without it. Per Fox News, the last time Abrini had been spotted was on Nov. 11, two days before the Paris attacks, at a gas station near Paris with another suspect in the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam. The latter was arrested March 18 in Brussels and is now being held in a Bruges prison. Abrini has a bunch of convictions to his name in Belgium, including for robbery and violence. (There are apparently many more suspects in both attacks still on the loose.)

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