Manhunt continues
Third Brussels bomber captured - or was he?

Officials refute media reports claiming fugitive terrorist bomb maker was caught in Brussels suburb - he is still at large.

Arutz Sheva Staff , | updated: 2:31 PM

Soldiers in Brussels
Soldiers in Brussels

Belgian media reported the third terrorist who took part in the Islamic State (ISIS) bombing of a Brussels airport on Tuesday was caught on Wednesday, but after local media later contested the version of events, officials clarified the terrorist remains at large.

The terrorist, identified by authorities as Najim Laachraoui, is said to have been wanted by police ever since the ISIS attacks in Paris last November in which 130 victims were murdered.

RTL and Le Derniere Heure reported he was arrested by special forces in Anderlecht, a suburb to the southwest of Brussels. However, La Libre Belgique and DH later indicated police did not arrest Laachraoui, and that someone else was arrested instead and misidentified.

The confusion was later clarified by Belgian prosecutors in a press conference at midday, when they revealed the terrorist was not apprehended and is still loose. They also confirmed that he planted a bomb at the airport which failed to detonate, and that it was the most powerful of the three.

Laachraoui was caught on security cameras Tuesday morning arriving with suicide bombers Khalid and Brahim El Bakraoui at the Zaventem Airport in Brussels.

He walked around the airport with them as the three pushed baggage carts, and then left after setting an explosive that failed to detonate.

The El Bakraoui brothers conducted twin suicide bombings, and a total of 34 people were murdered in their attack as well as in an additional bombing an hour later at the Maalbeek metro station located right near the EU headquarters. Around 200 other victims were wounded.

Laachraoui is thought to have been the bomb maker for the assault on Brussels.

The 25-year-old has been wanted under his alias Soufiane Kayal since the Paris attacks, after his DNA was found alongside that of the terrorists who conducted the attacks at a safe house where suicide belts and traces of explosives were found. He rented a hide-out in Auvelais, Belgium, where the ISIS cell prepared for the attacks in the French capital.

Belgium is currently observing three days of national mourning. The US on Wednesday issued travel warnings on Europe, advising that terror groups are planning more attacks in the near future according to intelligence information.