‘Man in the hat’ says weapons still hidden in Belgium
Weapons, belonging to Muslim terrorists behind the Paris and Brussels attacks might still be hidden somewhere in Belgium, broadcaster VRT reports Wednesday.
Mohamed Abrini, identified as the “man in the hat” in CCTV footage shortly before the Brussels terror attacks on March 22, told police during questioning in prison of hiding places, containing weapons, although he did not give their exact location, according to documents seen by the VRT’s investigative program Pano.
Abrini said that he, along with other terrorists linked to the attacks, was leaving a safe house in Brussels’ neighborhood Jette (days before the Brussels bombings) after they were informed by friends in prison who suggested the police was looking for them.
There were weapons in all the apartments the terrorists used in the lead up to the attacks, Abrini said, adding that they were moved “one or two days before the attacks” at a metro station in Brussels and the city’s international airport.
“Khalid El Bakraoui [one of the Brussels suicide bombers] moved them. I know that he brought them to a garage where oxygen water and other stuff was hidden. But I don’t know where the garage is and what’s inside,”Abrini told police, according to VRT.
He added: “It’s about three or four Kalashnikovs, a handgun and explosives. He [El Bakraoui] took everything in a bag. I don’t know where he brought it to.”
Belgian authorities in June searched more than 150 garages in the Brussels area but never found the weapons. Paul Van Tigchelt, chief of the Belgian Coordinating Unit for Threat Analysis, told VRT that he “cannot rule out” that there are still weapons hidden somewhere.
“It’s true that there are weapons and explosives that have not been found after the March attacks. We have searched for them the best we could,” Van Tigchelt said.