Thanks to a cabbie’s watchful eye and quick thinking, he was able to alert police to the Brussels apartment in which he picked up brothers Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui, before anyone else got inside.
What they found was downright jarring. The two brothers were in the midst of plotting to make a nuclear dirty bomb that would spread radioactive material all over the city. These plans either were scrapped due to the arrest of Salah Abdeslam which caused the brothers to hastily enter into a suicide mission, or were to be carried out later by Najim Laachraoui, the bomb maker who is still at large.
The most concerning part of these plans was how they planned to get the radioactive material. Authorities discovered that the brothers had planted a camera outside the home of a director of a Belgian nuclear plant. The camera monitored his comings and goings, leading police to believe they were planning an abduction.
Most likely, they would have forced him to grant them entry into a location where they could get a hold of these materials which they would then strap to a bomb and detonate in the city.
Police are still on the hunt for both Laachraoui and one other individual said to have a role in the attacks. Thus far 6 people have been arrested in conjunction with the attacks.
Friday, Belgian police performed several raids which lead to explosions, gunfire and one arrest. According to an eyewitness, a shop owner within the restricted area police were operating in said he saw an armed man emerge from a shop who was then shot in the leg by police. It’s unclear whether it was that man who was arrested alive or what his role in the situation is.
Here is some background on Laachraoui:
Najim Laachraoui, who is believed to have gone on the run after Paris logistics chief Salah Abdeslam’s capture.
Laachraoui reportedly travelled to Syria in February 2013 and was stopped by guards at the Austria-Hungary border on September 9 last year while driving a rented Mercedes he shared with Salah Abdesalam, according to the Belgian Federal Prosecutor.
The pair were also travelling with Mohamed Belkaid, 35, the man shot and killed during the raid to capture Abdelslam on Friday.
It is thought Laachraoui was not stopped as he was using a drivers licence under a different name and traveled to Budapest twice in September 2015.
On this instance, the three men had posed as tourists heading to Vienna on holiday and did not raise suspicions when they were stopped by police.
Laachraoui was also captured on CCTV with Belkaid four days after the attacks during a money transfer in a Western Union bank in the Brussels area.
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