Sunday, 14 August 2016
Investigators were looking for Oussama Atar, cousin to the El Bakraoui brothers, when searching houses in Brussels on Thursday and Friday. This was reported by the Sudpresse and Het Nieuwsblad papers on Saturday.
Oussama Atar is the cousin of Khalid and Ibrahim El Bakraoui, two of those responsible for the Brussels attacks at Zaventem airport and Maelbeek station on the 22nd of March.
Two more of their cousins have been in prison since the end of June. They are suspected of planning an attack on the Red Devils fanzone, located near the Brussels Gare du Nord station.
Oussama Atar has had jihadist links since 2000. He spent time in the same Iraqi prison as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who later became the leader of the Islamic State.
After eight houses were searched on Thursday and Friday, the Federal Prosecutor’s office stated it was all part of an investigation into a ‘dangerous’ jihadist who had returned from Syria.
Three people were arrested after these searches, but were later released.