Brussels attacks 3

As various media reported, a taxi driver recognised the three terrorists and contacted Belgian police, once the picture was released. He had picked the three up and drove them to Zaventem.

The three men actually had so much luggage with them (more bombs and Kalashnikovs?), they could not take all with them. The taxi driver provided police with the address where he picked the three up. One wonders: would self-driven cars which according to some of my friends will render taxi drivers out of their jobs, offer this service to the police?

Police, grown very careful after recent experiences with supposedly empty appartments, evacuated several streets and kept press at a very large distance. Belgian tv broadcasters also told viewers they had been asked to not mention details. Quite right, for it is not just ordinary people listening to radios, surfing the internet, watching television – but also terrorists and their supporters.

By now, some UK and US media report a third arrest. They claim Najim Laachraoui was the third person – though perhaps not the last member of the terrorist cell – and was arrested in the Brussels municipality of Anderlecht. He is supposed to be a bomb-making expert and supposedly also provided the bombs for the Paris attacks in 2015.

Police have denied Laachraoui was arrested. Belgian papers also stated that people have recognised Ibrahim en Khalid El Bakraoui as the Zaventhem or Brussels Airport suicide bombers, but the names have not been confirmed by authoriries.

By now, one wonders: did Abdeslam really chicken out of the Paris attacks? Or did he or someone else dumb the bomb belt on purpose and return to Brussels and the areas he and the bomb expert were familiar with, to set up at least one other terrorist cell?

One also wonders: his lawyer and mr Abdeslam want to negotiate and trade information in order to get off with a more lenient conviction. How useful will this “cooperation” be and how trustworthy – if at all – will any “shared” information be?

In the meantime, all victims and their relatives and friends have received life. For the psycholocigal and physical damage and traumas will not become “lenient” or even disappear.


About Kate

Multilingual arts & culture journalist, blogger, columnist, writer and translator. Contributor to international (news) media. 2014 winning columnist Gentse Schrijversdagen, Gand, Belgium.
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