Belgian Police Seek Information on ‘Man in Hat’

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -
This CCTV image from the Brussels Airport surveillance cameras made available by Belgian Police, shows what officials believe may be suspects in the Brussels airport attack on March 22, 2016. The Belgian state prosecutor said in a press conference on Tuesday, that a photograph of three male suspects was taken at Zaventem. "Two of them seem to have committed suicide attacks. The third, wearing a light-coloured jacket and a hat, is actively being sought," the prosecutor said. REUTERS/CCTV/Handout via ReutersATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
This image from the Brussels Airport surveillance cameras, made available by Belgian Police, shows the men whom officials believe are the terrorists in the Brussels airport attack last Tuesday. The third, wearing a light-colored jacket and a hat, is actively being sought. (Reuters/CCTV/Handout via Reuters)

Belgian police issued a new appeal on Monday for information about a man caught on CCTV at the Brussels airport along with two others thought to have blown themselves up in the check-in area last Tuesday.

The man, seen pushing a trolley with a suitcase on it in video footage released along with the appeal, has been dubbed “the man in the hat” and named by Belgian media as Faycal Cheffou, a self-styled freelance journalist.

A source close to the investigation, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a man who was arrested and charged with actual and attempted terrorist murder, whom prosecutors named only as Faycal C., was believed to be Cheffou.

But the source repeated that there had been no official identification, implying police may be having difficulties linking him to the figure captured on CCTV, who was wearing glasses and had his hat pulled down over his face.

The official police notice said they were seeking to formally identify the man, who is suspected of dumping his case, which contained a bomb, before running from the terminal, and called on the public for information.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for both the terror attacks in Paris and those in Brussels, which exposed weaknesses within intelligence services in Belgium, where some of the Paris terrorists lived, as well as insufficient cooperation between security services across Europe.

Dutch anti-terrorism police arrested a 32-year-old suspect on Sunday in Rotterdam on France’s request and Italy arrested an Algerian on Saturday suspected of having forged documents for terrorists linked to the Brussels and Paris attacks.