Belgian Ministers Offer Resignations After Brussels Attacks


Time: 3:25 p.m. CEST

A muslim woman prays, second right, as she and other people gathered to observe a minute of silence and mourn for the victims of the bombings at the Place de la Bourse in the center of Brussels, Belgium, Thursday, March 24, 2016.  (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Two days after the attacks of an airport and a metro station, at least two ministers in Belgium government offered their resignations, but the Prime Minister Charles Michel rejected them, the Reuters reports after citing Belgian media. Jan Jambon, Minister of Interior and Justice Minister Koen Geens offer no comments on the offered resignations. Belgian authorities are under scrutiny after Turkye President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said that Turkey had warned Belgium on one of the suicide bombers who carried out the attack at the Brussels Airport Zaventen.

Ankara said that Turkey expelled back to Europe Ibrahim El Bakraoui who committed suicide attack at the departure terminal at the Brussels airport. “Belgium ignored our warning that this person is a foreign fighter,” Erdogan said, as published in Turkey’s media. Police in Turkey apprehended El Bakraoui while a routine police check in Gaziantep province and deported him from Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Daily Sabah cites a Turkish official. “We notified Belgium’s and the Netherlands’s authorities about his travel route and put an exclusion order on him.” Erdogan added that Belgium could not find terror links with the suspect, despite Turkey’s warnings, Daily Sabah reports. Turkey deported Ibrahim on July 14, 2015, while Reuters cites that he was again deported in August.

Nine months after the information, Belgian prosecutors named Ibrahim El Bakraoui as one of the three men involved in the attack. He detonated his explosive in a suicide attack. In the other developments, the media in France and Belgium mention Najim Laachraoui as the second airport bomber, but the claims lacks official confirmation. Police in Belgium pursue to identify another person who was with metro train bomber Khalid El Bakraoui. It also looks for a third person from the CCTV footage at the Zaventen airport. According to the officials he fled the scene and left the explosive undetonated.

On Thursday, a court hearing in Brussels on Salah Abdeslam’s detention was canceled and postponed until April 7, the Guardian Angelique Chrisafis reports from Brussels. His lawyer Sven Mary talked outside the court and confirmed that his client “wants to be transferred to France as soon as possible.” That is opposite of the previous request, which was not to be extradite to France. Mary said that Abdeslam did not know about Belgium attacks. Abdeslam is one of the prime suspects in the Paris attacks last year in November that took 130 lives, and it is probably the last survivor of the group, which possibly belonged to the same cell. Belgium police captured him on March 17 and he is in the high-security jail in Bruges.

In the most recent attack in Belgium 31 people died in two attacks and 300 are wounded. About 150 are in hospitals. All suspects mentioned with relation to the Brussels attacks have links to Paris attacks. Most of the men behind the attacks in Paris last November are now dead.

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