Brussels bomber had previously worked at airport, minister confirms

One of the suicide bombers who died in the March 22 terrorist attacks on the Brussels airport had previously been an employee there, Interior Minister Jan Jambon confirmed on Thursday.

The broadcaster VTM had reported that Najim Laachraoui worked for five years at the airport - until the end of 2012 - under a temporary contract with a company active on the site. This would have allowed him to get informed about security at the airport, VTM said.

Jambon told journalists in Luxembourg, where he was attending a meeting of EU interior ministers, that he had learned "in the last days" that Laachraoui had worked at the aiport, the Belga news agency reported.

But Jambon also warned against drawing hasty conclusions, saying that it is unclear when Laachraoui became radicalized.

"Radicalization can occur in very little time," Belga quoted Jambon as saying. "He may have become radicalized while working at the airport or later on."

The minister also noted that reinforced screenings of workers at airports and other sensitive sites were among the measures launched by the government following the March attacks.

More than 30 people died in the suicide bombing at the airport and a subsequent one at an underground railway station in Brussels.

Laachraoui was one of two bombers who died at the airport. The 24-year-old Belgian national had left for Syria in 2013. He has also been linked to last November's deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.

Last update: Thu, 21/04/2016 - 17:15

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