Belgium Tracks Bomber's Path From Airport, Seeks New Leads

  • Suspect escaped on foot, last spotted near EU headquarters
  • Police look for discarded jacket that might provide DNA clues

Belgian prosecutors appealed for public help in tracking down the presumed leader of the Brussels airport bombings after releasing new security footage that showed him jogging away from the scene.

Prosecutors said surveillance cameras lost track of the man in a neighborhood near European Union headquarters at about 9:50 a.m. on March 22, almost two hours after the airport blasts. Police videos indicated that the man made the roughly 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) escape on foot, discarding his jacket en route. He was last seen in a light blue shirt, dark trousers and brown shoes with prominent white soles.

The jacket, possibly taken off in Zaventem township near the airport, could provide “invaluable information” if found, according to a statement released in Brussels on Thursday.

Belgium has made several arrests in connection with the attacks at the airport and a downtown subway station, which killed 32. Prime Minister Charles Michel has owned up to some security lapses, while keeping the army on the streets to reassure tourists, businesspeople and the Belgians themselves that Brussels is safe again.

Subway Blast

Prosecutors distilled hours of surveillance footage into a 2 minute, 16 second video that was made public, charting the suspect’s course past an airport hotel and out through the parking garages.

The man had accompanied the two airport suicide bombers. As he made his getaway toward Brussels, another suicide bomber struck at the Maelbeek subway station between EU headquarters and the center of town.

Investigators are still examining clues to determine whether there was an accomplice at the subway station.

Separately, prosecutors extended the detention of three Belgian nationals suspected of terrorism and of two Algerians who were arrested in connection with the foiling of an attack in Paris.

Police set up a tips hotline at 0800-30-300 from within Belgium or 0032-2-554-4488 from abroad.

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