Report: Brussels Terrorists Sought to Target Travelers to Israel, U.S.

YERUSHALAYIM -
A Belgian special forces police officer and soldiers stand guard outside a courthouse, while Brussels attacks suspects Mohamed Abrini and Osama Krayem are appearing before a judge to decide if they remain in custody, in Brussels, Belgium, April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Yves Herman
A Belgian special forces police officer and soldiers stand guard outside a courthouse, while Brussels terror attacks suspects Mohamed Abrini and Osama Krayem are appearing before a judge to decide if they remain in custody, in Brussels, Belgium, Thursday. (Reuters/Yves Herman)

Mohamed Abrini, the “terrorist in the white hat” who was the subject of a wide-ranging manhunt after the recent bombings in Brussels, told investigators that part of the plan that he and the other terrorists had intended to undertake was to blow up a bomb in the airport’s terminal – in the room where passengers were waiting to depart for flights to Israel.

Abrini, who was seen absconding from the terminal at the Zaventem airport after two bombs went off on March 22 and went into hiding, told investigators that his role in the terror attack was supposed to have been to sneak into the terminal in the pandemonium created by the first two explosions, and find the gate where Israeli travelers were waiting for their flights – and set off his bomb there, French media reported. Instead, he abandoned the plan and ran away.

Broken windows seen at the scene of explosions at Zaventem airport near Brussels, Belgium, March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Broken windows seen at the scene of explosions at the Zaventem airport near Brussels, Belgium, March 22. (Reuters/Francois Lenoir)

In addition, he said that bombs had been prepared to be set off at gates where flights to the U.S. and Russia were to take off.

Abrini said that the mastermind of the plot had been Ibrahim al-Barqawi, one of the terrorists killed in the terror attack. He had chosen the targets, but Abrini, who was supposed to set off the bombs inside the terminal, changed his mind at the last moment. He was captured last week after a several-week manhunt.