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Algerian man arrested in Italy in Brussels terror attacks

By UPI Staff   |   Updated March 27, 2016 at 5:43 PM
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BRUSSELS, March 27 (UPI) -- Italian police arrested an Algerian national who is suspected to have helped Islamic State militants connected to the Brussels attacks by producing fake identification documents.

Djamal Eddine Ouali, 40, has been the subject of a Belgian arrest warrant since January. He is believed to have given the falsified papers to Najim Laachraoui, one of the three suicide bombers at Brussels airport. Eddine is also thought to have helped Salah Abdeslam, arrested this month in Belgium for his alleged involvement in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, and another man killed by Belgian authorities in a raid this month. Ouali may be extradited to Belgium.

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"The Algerian arrested [Saturday] in Salerno is part of a network of forgers of residency" documents, police said.

Also Sunday, organizers postponed a march to commemorate those killed and injured in the Brussels attacks at the request of government authorities for fear of lax security.

"We invite the citizens tomorrow to not have this [march]," Interior Minister Jan Jambon said. "We understand fully that everybody wants to express this feeling, but it is our responsibility that this can be done in the best circumstances possible."

The growing list of suspects and arrests may help ease tensions across Brussels, a city that remains on edge five days after Belgium's worst attacks since World War II. At least 28 people died and some 300 were injured in explosions at the Brussels airport and a nearby metro station on Tuesday.

Law enforcement across Europe has been rounding up suspects, including charging Faycal Cheffou with terrorism-related offenses on Saturday. Two other suspected, identified as Rabah N. and Aboubakar A. have also been detained. Rabah N. was charged in relation to a suspected terrorist attack in the planning stages in Paris. Aboubakar A. was also charged in relation to terrorist activities but details remain unclear.

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