Authorities confirm that bombmaker Najim Laachraoui is dead. According to CNN, Laachraoui, believed to be a “chief” bombmaker for ISIS, was one of the suicide bombers at the airport in Brussels on Tuesday. The report indicates that at least five men were involved in the Brussels terror attacks, three of them killed by their own bombs. These three men have been identified as brothers, Khalid El Bakraoui and Ibrahim El Bakraoui, and the aforementioned Najim Laachraoui.
— Akash Soni (@Akashtv1) March 24, 2016
There was one other male suspect at the airport who allegedly abandoned his luggage bomb and fled. The bomb did not detonate and was set off in a controlled environment by a team of professionals. The remnants of this bomb are being tested for DNA, fingerprints, and anything else that may give clues about who was involved in these attacks.
It has now been confirmed that Najim Laachraoui was in a CCTV photo released by authorities shortly after the bombings. He is pictured on the left in the photo below. In the center of that photo is Ibrahim El Bakraoui. Both men are dead. The man on the right has not been identified and is said to be on the run.
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) March 22, 2016
At the Maelbeek metro station, Khalid El Bakraoui set off the bomb that killed him. A second terrorist who was with him did not die in the blasts, has not been identified, and is also believed to be at large.
The loss of Najim Laachraoui is thought to be a big blow for ISIS. Although he did kill himself in these blasts, it is believed that he was a very skilled bombmaker. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Najim Laachraoui had ties to the terrorist attacks in Paris back in November. His DNA was found on suicide belts used at the Bataclan Theatre and at the Stade de France.
The 24-year-old was thought to be pals with Paris bomber Salah Abdeslam, who is currently in custody. The two men were seen together on at least one occasion with Paris bomber Mohamed Belkaid, who is deceased.
Najim Laachraoui, Ibrahim El Bakraoui, and the third man in the photo above took a cab from an apartment in Schaerbeek to the airport on Tuesday, loading their explosive-filled luggage into the trunk as if they were heading on a trip. The cab driver actually recognized the three men in the CCTV photo and quickly called the police, giving them the address where he picked the men up before bringing them to the airport. Authorities spent hours combing through the home, bringing out several bags of evidence.
“And they’ve uncovered what appears to be a hideout in a Brussels suburb, where they found 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of the explosive TATP, screws and other bomb-making materials, Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said.”
Najim Laachraoui was key to many terror plots and clearly had a lot of intel. Now that he is dead, he won’t be making any more bombs, but the worry is that he has already made bombs that are being held for future attacks.
According to the Boston Globe, ISIS took credit for these bombings shortly after they happened. They promised darker days ahead. If any of these threatened days occur, however, they will be without their key player, Najim Laachraoui, but the terrorist group may have another bombmaker in the wings.
“The Islamic State group has issued an updated communique taking credit for the Brussels attacks and threatening other countries taking part in the anti-IS coalition. The statement promises ‘dark days’ for countries allied against the Islamic State, threatening that ‘what is coming is worse and more bitter.'”
[Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images]