Five things we know in the aftermath of the Brussels attacks
Published 23/03/2016 | 08:18
1) Manhunt still on for world's most wanted man
The prime suspect in the Brussels bombings, Najim Laachraoui, is still at large following earlier reports that he had been arrested in the city's Anderlecht district. Local media said another person had been arrested and that the man detained had been misidentified.
Police and prosecutors have been declining all comment but will hold a news conference at noon GMT.
The Isil commander made the suicide bombs used in last November's Paris Terror Attacks. He had recently traveled to Hungary with captured prime suspect Salah Abdeslam.
A Belgian national, the former Catholic schoolboy and electromechanics student gave police the slip last year when he returned from Syria. Laachraoui grew up in Schaerbeek in Brussels and had set up at least one bomb-making factory there in the weeks before Paris.
Two suicide bombers who carried out the attacks in Zaventem airport and at the Metro were Brussels residents and brothers Khalid (Metro) and Brahim El Bakraoui (airport) who were known to the police for crime, the RTBF public broadcaster said.
A third man involved in the airport attacks is now being hunted for.
2) Travel safety in (and in and out of) Brussels
Belgium remains on its highest threat level after yesterday's terror attacks. While restrictions on public transport across the country have now been lifted, Belgian citizens have been urged to remain vigilant. A limited number of metro stations are operating with some lines replaced with an M-bus. Railway stations re-opened yesterday afetrnoon.
The Department of Foreign Affairs is advising Irish citizens to "exercise extreme caution" in Belgium but no restrictions have been placed in travel. Eurostar is operating a normal service today but passengers are asked to allow an hour for check in due to enhanced security.
Brussels Zaventem Airport is to remain closed until at least Thursday night with the situation to be evaluated as the day progresses but Brussels Charleroi is open. All Ryanair flights scheduled to operate to/from Zaventem today will now operate to/from Charleroi. Aer Lingus flights between Dublin and Brussels have been cancelled today.
3) Death toll - and known victims
At least 34 people have been killed and over 200 injured in the bomb attacks that hit Zaventem airport and the Metro yesterday morning. Fourteen people are reported to have been killed at the airport and 20 in the explosion on the Metro.
The first victim of the Brussels attacks which killed more than 30 people has been named as mum-of-twins Adelma Tapia Ruiz, 37. A spokeswoman for Peru's foreign ministry, Benilda Babylon, named her as the first confirmed victim of the attacks which struck the Belgian capital on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, friends on social media have been appealing for information on the whereabouts of David Dixon and asking anyone with information to contact his partner Charlotte Sutcliffe.
4) Security in Ireland ramped up for centenary celebrations
The bombing atrocities have forced the gardai to step up their war on terror on two fronts in the run-up to the Easter 1916 commemorative events. Garda Special Branch, and associated units, were already on high alert as they monitored the movements of dissident republicans to prevent any attempt to disrupt the centenary commemorations.
The National Security Committee (NSC) met yesterday morning to review the impact of the attacks on security here. The threat level in this jurisdiction remains at moderate level, raised from low to moderate in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris. ecurity measures in place at airports and other possible areas for attack are being reviewed and, where necessary, are being reinforced.
5) International reaction - who is saying what
* "Those b******s' are at it again" - Rugby legend Ronan O Gara
* "A lot of people in the community knew they were going to do it because in their apartment they had bombs all over the floor ... and they didn't report them" - Donald Trump
* "We will never let terrorists win" - David Cameron
* "I think the whole purpose of actions like this, as cowardly as it is directed at civilians seeking to go about their business and lives in Europe...is to sow such fear and to dislodge that kind of life" - President Michael D Higgins
* "The whole of Europe has been hit" - Francois Hollande