Belgian authorities have launched a public appeal for help in the search for the “man in the hat” suspect captured in an image on Brussels airport CCTV cameras moments before his alleged accomplices detonated themselves and killed 14 people.
Police released new images of the man — who has not yet been identified but is believed to be alive — on its official Twitter account Thursday morning. Police believe the other two men in the CCTV photograph are dead.
The photos zoom in on the man’s clothes — particularly the white trench coat, hat, and shoes he was wearing at the time of the attack.
Police also released a video of the suspect:
Freelance journalist Faycal Cheffou was incorrectly identified as the “man in the hat” in the days following the attack. He was released days after being arrested because of a lack of evidence linking him to the bombings.
Thirty-five people were killed and hundreds more wounded after explosions ripped through Zaventem Airport and the Maelbeek metro station in Brussels on March 22.
Ibrahim El Bakraoui and his brother, Khalid, were named as suicide bombers in the attacks by the Belgian police the day after the attack. Ibrahim is thought to have detonated his explosives at the airport, while his brother is thought to be responsible for the suicide attack at the metro station that killed 20 others, according to police.
Police believe 24-year-old Najim Laachraoui, who appears in the photo’s far left, was the second airport bomber. Laachraoui, an alleged ISIS bombmaker who police say made the suicide vests used in both the Paris and Brussels attacks, died in the attack.
Only one day before the attacks, Laachraouihad been named by Belgian officials as a
suspected accomplice of Saleh Abdeslam, an ISIS militant who allegedly helped carry out the November Paris attacks that killed 130 people.
Abdeslam was detained in a raid by Belgian police a week before the Brussels bombings and has been charged in relation to the Paris attacks. Investigators believe Abdeslam would have been involved in the Brussels plot had he not been captured days prior, but his lawyer insisted that his client “was not aware” that the Brussels attacks were being planned.
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