Algerian arrested in Italy as Belgium attack investigation widens

Algerian arrested in Italy as Belgium attack investigation widens

BRUSSELS - Reuters
Algerian arrested in Italy as Belgium attack investigation widens

AP photo

Italian police arrested an Algerian suspected of making documents for militants linked to the Brussels bombings and Belgian authorities charged a man connected with a French raid as the investigation into the attacks spread to other countries. 

With links to the Paris attacks in November becoming clearer, and amid criticism that European countries have not done enough to share intelligence on suspected Islamist militants, cooperation appeared to be deepening. 

The suicide bomb attacks targeting Brussels airport and a rush-hour metro train on March 22 killed 31 people, including three of the attackers, and injured hundreds more. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has claimed responsibility. 

Belgian press agency Belga said on March 27 prosecutors charged the man in connection with a raid in Paris on March 24 that authorities say foiled an apparent attack plot. 

Belga named him as Abderamane A. who prosecutors had said on March 26 hewas being held after being shot during a raid in the Brussels district of Schaerbeek. 

Police carried out 13 raids in and around Brussels, with nine people questioned and five later released, the prosecutor’s office said. 

In southern Italy, Algerian Djamal Eddine Ouali, 40, was arrested by anti-terrorism police after a series of raids and arrests in Belgium and Germany since the attacks, Italian media said on March 26. 

He was suspected of having made false documents for militants connected to the attacks, Sky TG 24 television and other media said. His name was found in documents in a raid in an apartment near Brussels last October, including some with photos of militants involved in the attacks in Paris and in Brussels and the aliases they used. 

Germany was also playing a part in the investigation with the Federal Criminal Police Office among the European security agencies still hunting for at least eight mostly French or Belgian suspects, Die Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported. They are thought to be on the run in Syria or Europe. 

Belgian prosecutors also charged three men on Saturday including Faycal C., whom Belgian media identified as Faycal Cheffou and said he was “the man in the hat”, as he has become known, in last Tuesday’s airport CCTV footage that showed three men pushing baggage trolleys bearing luggage.