A man suspected of being the third Brussels airport bomber has been arrested in Belgium on Saturday and charged with terrorist murder.
According to AFP, the airport bomber suspect officially identified as Faycal C and named by local media as freelance journalist Faycal Cheffou was arrested on Thursday night.
Investigators are working to confirm if Cheffou is the man pictured in the Zaventem airport surveillance footage alongside the two other suicide bombers, brothers Ibrahim El Bakraoui and Najim Laachraoui.
Faycal Cheffou, le 3e terroriste de Bruxelles est un gentil journaliste qui aidait les migrants… pic.twitter.com/7DXGnzz9lx
— Tremblez tyrans… (@Jeandepompignan) March 26, 2016
A massive manhunt began after surveillance footage captured the third bomber wearing a distinctive dark hat and white jacket. According to accounts, the man’s device failed to go off in the attack.
When asked if Faycal Cheffou was the suspected third bomber dubbed the “man in the hat,” a source close to the inquiry told AFP that is is “a hypothesis the investigators are working on.”
According to the International Herald Tribune, Cheffou made a video in July 2014 criticizing the government for serving Muslim refugees meals before the end of the daily fast during the month of Ramadan.
Faycal Cheffou was taken into custody on Thursday. In keeping with Belgian law, which requires a hearing before a judge and a warrant to be issued within 24 hours to keep a suspect in detention, the judge in charge of the case issued a formal arrest warrant on Friday.
— TRACterrorism.org (@TRACterrorism) March 26, 2016
Authorities have also called for the postponement of a planned Easter Sunday rally and march, saying police officers are needed elsewhere to track members of ISIS as the country continues to reel from the terrorist attack that killed 31 people and injured more than 300.
Brussels mayor Yvan Mayer asked that plans for the rally at the Place de La Bourse, which has become a sort of shrine to the victims, be put off until things quiet down in the tense Belgium capital.
“Let us allow the security services to do their work and that the march, which we too want to take part in, be delayed for several weeks.”
In the aftermath of the attack, Brussels airport officials say the airport will not reopen before Tuesday as new security measures are put in place and repairs to the departure hall destroyed by the bombers can be completed.
Organizers of the rally and march agreed with authorities to postpone the event in honor of victims, saying the “security of our citizens is an absolute priority. We join the authorities in proposing a delay and ask people not to come this Sunday.”
On Friday, Mariah Carey canceled a show in Brussels, saying she was advised to do so “for the safety of my fans, my band, crew and everyone involved with the tour.”
— Anna van Densky (@annaeureporter) March 26, 2016
On the other hand, veteran French rock star Johnny Hallyday plans to go ahead with two planned concerts in Brussels over the weekend.
The evidence is growing and there seem to be links between the extremists that carried out the Brussels bombings and those behind the Paris attack in November.
The chief suspect in the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, has claimed he “didn’t know” about the Brussels terror plot.
Investigators also believe the Brussels attacks were planned to be carried out over Easter but were brought forward in case Abdeslam revealed details following his arrest.
[Photo by Belgian Federal Police via AP Images]