Brussels flights still suspended as attack-planning details emerge

Brussels airport said it will not resume passenger flights before Tuesday, following a judicial investigation into the terrorist attacks at the airport.

Brussels Airport Company said Saturday it is working on a temporary solution to partially resume flights amid new security measures imposed by the Belgian government.

The airport has granted access to a team of engineers to assess damage to the terminal building where two bombs were detonated on Tuesday.

Greek police said they had found plans for a potential attack on Brussels airport in two Athens flats back in January 2015 and informed the Belgian authorities, Skai news broadcaster reported Saturday, citing the police.

Among other documents, a map of Brussels airport was found. Greek police have not yet issued an official statement on the report.

The Skai report said the plans were found in flats that had been rented by Islamists. It later became apparent a man linked to the mastermind behind the November Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was involved in Athens, the report said.

The November 13 terrorist attacks on a football stadium, concert hall, restaurants and bars in the French capital Paris left 130 people dead. Belgian national Abaaoud, 28, was later shot dead in a dramatic anti-terrorist raid in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis.

Abaaoud's extensive movements around Europe also involved renting a flat in Athens. French police had provided Greek police with Abaaoud's DNA after his death.

As part of the investigations at the time, a 33-year-old man was arrested in another flat and later handed over to Belgium by the Greek authorities.

Salah Abdeslam, who was arrested in Brussels for involvement in the November terrorist attacks in Paris, has downplayed his role in the attacks during questioning, Le Monde newspaper reported Saturday.

The report said that he identified the planner of the attacks as Abaaoud.

"It is Abaaoud. I know that from my brother Brahim. He was the one who told me that Abaaoud was the one in charge," the newspaper quoted Abdeslam as saying, citing police transcripts.

The public prosecutor in Brussels refused to confirm the report when asked.

Germany has said it is not ruling out the possibility of terrorist strikes on Germany following the Brussels attacks.

"We shouldn't count on the fact that international terrorism will continue to avoid Germany," German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said in a newspaper report Saturday.

Germany has been a potential target for an attack for a long time, Maas told the Saarbruecker Zeitung.

The minister called on Germans not to panic. "If we now become frozen stiff with fear and horror, then the terrorists have achieved their goal," he said.

Last update: Sat, 26/03/2016 - 12:05
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