Mohamed Abrini, the last remaining suspect in the Paris attacks, who was also wanted in connection with the Brussels bombings in March, was arrested by the Belgian authorities on Friday: One hundred thirty people were killed and 367 were injured in November when several gunmen and suicide bombers launched a coordinated attack in Paris that targeted restaurants, a music venue and a soccer game. Several months later, a smaller, but nonetheless dangerous attack was launched in Brussels. Authorities have long suspected that the events were connected, and with Abrini’s arrest on Friday, there’s a good chance that their investigation is paying off.
CNN initially reported that several arrests had been made in connection with the March attacks in Brussels, but the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office didn’t provide any names or details. According to followups by Reuters, the Daily Mail and countless other outlets, however, Belgian public broadcaster VRT confirmed that Abrini was one of the suspects. Not only that, but the reports indicated that Abrini was the “man in the hat” who was caught on camera at Brussels Airport.
Abrini, a 31-year-old Belgian, was “more than likely” the “man in the hat” seen on security camera footage at Brussels airport on March 22 with two suicide bombers, VRT said, citing unidentified sources. A second suspect, believed to have been seen with a third suicide bomber on the metro, was also held.
The second suspect arrested along with Abrini was named as “Osama Krayem” by VRT’s discreet sources, but no other details were given.
The Daily Mail suggested that a “Belgian federal police spokesman” had “confirmed” Abrini as one of the suspects. Yet neither VRT, Reuters or any of the other news outlets reporting the story had anything official other than the initial announcement that arrests were made.