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First suspect charged in Brussels terrorist attack

By Eric DuVall   |   Updated March 26, 2016 at 7:58 PM
| License Photo

BRUSSELS, March 26 (UPI) -- Police in Belgium have charged the first of three suspects detained in the Brussels terrorist attacks with terrorist murder, prosecutors said Saturday.

Faycal Cheffou has been identified as the suspect. In addition to the murder charge, he has also been charged with attempted murder relating to terror plots and links to terror groups.

Two other suspects, who have only been identified by authorities by their first names and a last initial, have also been hit with terrorist-related charges, though it is not clear whether they are in direct relation to helping carry out the Brussels attacks.

A search of Cheffou's home did not turn up any weapons or explosives. It was not immediately clear whether he was the third man believed to have been seen on airport security footage prior to the blast and Belgian authorities have not said what role they believe he played in the attack.

The second suspect detained Friday, identified only as Rabah N., who was arrested near a train station in Brussels Friday, has been charged in relation to a suspected terrorist attack in the planning stages in Paris. The third suspect, Aboubakar A., was charged in relation to terrorist activities, but it was not immediately clear what that was referring to, or when he was taken into custody.

Police across Europe have conducted raids and detained individuals believed to have had connections to the Brussels attack. In Germany, authorities detained an unidentified 28-year-old man and are investigating his alleged connections.

Police continue to keep a tight hold on security in Brussels. A solidarity march planned for Saturday was canceled after police feared for public safety and implored residents to remain home. The airport, which was hit with two bombs in the attack, will remain closed until at least Tuesday. A concert by the pop singer Mariah Carey in Brussels was also canceled after Carey said she was asked to do so by authorities out of fear it could prove a safety risk.

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