One of Brussels airport bombers had worked there for five years | News | DW | 21.04.2016
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One of Brussels airport bombers had worked there for five years

One of the jihadists who blew themselves up at Brussels Airport last month had worked there. He had also briefly worked as a cleaner at the European Parliament several years ago.

The 24-year old Najim Laachraoui worked at the airport for five years until 2012, having been recruited by a temp agency, Belgium's Flemish-language VTM television reported Wednesday.

VTM did not provide details about the kind of work Laachraoui did there, but said airport staff is usually subject to a security check before being employed.

Laachraoui was one of two suicide bombers at Brussels Airport on March 22, in coordinated attacks that also hit a metro station in the city, killing 32 people in total. Traces of Laachraoui's DNA were found at a Brussels apartment where the suicide belts for the Brussels attacks had been made.

The one-time electrical engineering student is also suspected of being the bomb-maker for last November's Paris attacks that left 130 people dead, another attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

There has been no official confirmation of the report.

Prayer room

VTM also reported that a hidden prayer room had been discovered at Brussels airport shortly before the attacks, "where radicalized staff would meet to pray in secret." The airport said it has now closed the room down at the request of police. Investigators have reportedly drawn up a list of "at least 50 radicalized airport employees."

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The military police carries extra patrols at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam

The military police carries out extra patrols at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam

On April 6, the European Parliament said one of the bombers - whom AFP claims was Laachraoui - had had a summer cleaning job at its Brussels headquarters in 2009 and 2010.

Belgian prosecutors believe Laachraoui went to Syria in February 2013, where he joined IS. He resurfaced last September, two months before the Paris attacks, when he was stopped by police on the Austria-Hungary border using the false identity of Soufiane Kayal. He was travelling with Salah Abdeslam, the sole surviving Paris attacks suspect.

jbh/jil (AFP)

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