Dozens arrested as Belgium cracks down on attackers

Dozens arrested as Belgium cracks down on attackers
Belgian authorities have clamped down on those involved in the deadly Brussels attacks, arresting and charging dozens for their participation.
2 min read
18 June, 2016
Security forces took part in several raids across the country [AFP]
A Belgian man has been arrested and charged in connection with an Islamic State suicide attack that killed 32 people in Brussels in March, prosecutors said on Friday.

Youssef E.A was among several others charged over the bombings that hit Brussels airport and a metro station on March 22.

The 30-year-old was charged with "participation in the activities of a terrorist group, terrorist murders and attempts of terrorist murders, as a perpetrator, co-perpetrator of accomplice", Belgium's federal prosecutor said.

Several others suspected of being involved in the attacks joined authorities in a reconstruction at an apartment in the Brussels suburb of Etterbeek on Friday, a prosecutor statement said.

The flat was "used as a safe house" in the lead up to the attack at Maalbeek metro station.

Swede citizen, Osama Krayem who took part in the reconstruction, was charged over both the Brussels bombings and the Paris attacks that rocked the French capital in November.

Krayem is believed to be involved in the purchase of bags used for the Brussels bombings.

Khalid el-Bakraoui, who was seen backtracking in the last few moments, also joined brothers, Smail and Ibrahim Farisi and others in the reconstruction.

A 31-year-old man arrested in June, identified by prosecutors as "Ali E.H.A" has also been linked to the apartment and took part in the police simulation.

Bilal El Makhoukhi, a 27-year-old Brussels resident arrested in April was also involved, however the circumstances of his role is unclear.

Makhoukhi was sentenced to five years in jail in 2014 after going on trial alongside several members of Sharia4Belgium, a group that sent militants to Syria.

Belgian police staged sweeping nationwide anti-terror raids resulting in dozens of arrests since the attacks rocked the capital.