American confirmed dead in Brussels bombings, wife still missing

By Daniel Uria   |   March 26, 2016 at 10:32 AM
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BRUSSELS, March 26 (UPI) -- An American man was confirmed dead in the terror attack at Brussels airport, his family said Saturday.

Justin Shults, 31, who had not been heard from since the bombings on Tuesday died as the result of a bomb blast according to his parents.

"We have been notified by officials today that Sheila's son, Justin Shults, died as a result of the bombings at the airport in Brussels, Belgium, on March 22," Sheila and Jon Shell said.

Shults's employer, Clarcor, also confirmed his death in a statement.

Shultsmoved to Brussels with his wife Stephanie Shults, 29 in 2014. She was still unaccounted for as of Saturday.

"Please keep the family of Justin's wife, Stephanie, in your prayers as they await news," Shell said.

Federal prosecutors in Belgium charged three new suspects in the Brussels terror attacks, possibly including the third man seen on surveillance footage at Brussels airport just before the suicide bombing earlier this week.

Prosecutors did not say whether Faycal Cheffou was the third man in the airport. Local media, citing unidentified sources, said he was positively identified by a taxi driver who took the bombers to the airport on the morning of the attack.

Investigators say the third man's bomb failed to detonate. He was seen on surveillance footage from Zaventem International Airport walking alongside suicide bombers Najim Laachraoui and Ibrahim el-Bakraoui.

According to prosecutors, Cheffou, described as a freelance journalist, was charged with participation in terrorist groups, terrorist killings and attempted terrorist killings.

Prosecutors also identified two other men, only identified as Aboubakar A and Rabah N, and charged them with terrorist activities and membership of a terrorist group.

Aboubakar A was arrested on Thursday after he was seen in a vehicle on the street. Rabah N was reportedly wanted in connection with a police raid following a foiled Paris terroist attack.

Also on Saturday, local news reported a security officer at a nuclear plant in Belgium was killed earlier this week and his security pass was stolen, suggesting terrorists were focusing on a nuclear plant for an attack. Authorities said the death was not related to the attacks.

Brussels airport announced that it is preparing to partially resume passenger flights some time after March 29. No specific date was given, but flights could resume no sooner than Tuesday as they worked to assess the situation.

"Until we have assessed the damage, it remains unclear when we can resume operations," they said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Airport engineers and technicians were given access to the terminal for the first time since the attack, as authorities said investigative work had been completed.

"Brussels Airport Company is currently studying a temporary solution to partially resume passenger flights, taking into account the new security measures that apply at Belgian airports, decided by the federal government," the airport said.

On Tuesday a series of suicide bombings at an airport and metro station in Brussels killed 31 people and injured more than 300.

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