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Two Terror Suspects to Appear at Brussels Custody Hearing

  • VOA News

A Belgian special forces police officer and soldiers secure the zone outside a courthouse while Brussels attacks suspects Mohamed Abrini and Osama Krayem appear before a judge, in Brussels, Belgium, April 14, 2016.

A Belgian special forces police officer and soldiers secure the zone outside a courthouse while Brussels attacks suspects Mohamed Abrini and Osama Krayem appear before a judge, in Brussels, Belgium, April 14, 2016.

A Belgian judge is to decide Thursday whether to keep Brussels attacks suspects Mohamed Abrini and Osama Krayem in preventive custody.

Both are said to have ties to the Brussels-based terrorist cell that is believed to be behind both the November 13 terror attacks on Paris, in which 130 died, and the March 22 Brussels attacks, which killed 32 people.

Abrini is the alleged “man in the hat,” who was captured on closed-circuit security footage walking alongside the two Brussels airport bombers shortly before their suicide attacks.

Photo released by Belgian federal police on demand of Federal prosecutor shows screengrab of airport CCTV camera showing suspects of this morning's attacks at Brussels Airport, in Zaventem, March 22, 2016.

Photo released by Belgian federal police on demand of Federal prosecutor shows screengrab of airport CCTV camera showing suspects of this morning's attacks at Brussels Airport, in Zaventem, March 22, 2016.

On Wednesday Belgian prosecutors said they released three people detained this week in the investigation of the Paris attacks.

The Belgian Federal Prosecutor's Office said Wednesday that none of the individuals were charged. They were taken into custody on Tuesday during a police search in the Brussels district of Uccle.

On Tuesday, two other men, identified as Smail F. and Ibrahim F., were charged with terrorist activities and murders in connection with last month’s Brussels bombings, Belgian federal prosecutors announced. Local media said the two are brothers.

Belgian authorities have faced sharp criticism over intelligence and security lapses linked to both the Brussels and Paris attacks, including the four months it took to capture top Paris terrorist suspect Salah Abdeslam.

Salah Abdeslam, a Belgian national French police are searching for in connection with Paris terror attacks. (Police Nationale Handout Photo)

Salah Abdeslam, a Belgian national French police are searching for in connection with Paris terror attacks. (Police Nationale Handout Photo)

Belgian police have made a series of arrests before and after the Brussels attacks, sometimes working alongside their French counterparts. Abdeslam was nabbed near his childhood home in Molenbeek days before the bombings at the Brussels airport and metro station. He is now being detained at a high-security prison in the town of Bruges.

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