Brussels airport terminal declared 'intact' as police operations continue


Belgian officials have completed their initial investigation at Brussels International Airport, after a provisional inspection of the terminal found the main building to be stable.

Five days after the two airport blasts which killed at least 14 people, a statement published on Brussels Airport's website confirmed that technicians and independent experts had judged the main and connector buildings to be "intact".

The statement also disclosed that the locations where hand luggage and custom checks are carried out can also be used again.

Airport officials are now discussing plans to install temporary check-in desks, but pointed out that the process of identifying a suitable location was still being carried out in consultation with airlines and luggage handlers.

Shortly after the announcement, Belgian media also reported that prosecutors in Brussels have charged a second man in connection with a foiled attack on Paris.

The man, identified only as Abderamane A, was charged with involvement in a terrorist group, according to Belgian media.

In a statement in French, the state-owned Belga news agency said that prosecutors confirmed that the suspect had been arrested on Friday in Schaerbeek, after he was shot and wounded by armed police at a tram stop.

It was not confirmed by Belgian prosecutors.

The reported arrest would be the second to be made in connection with a plot to stage another terror attack in Paris, after nine people were arrested for their suspected involvement in the terror attacks in Belgium last Thursday.

It is understood that the first arrest was made in Boulogne-Billancourt, west of Paris, where police detained Reda Kriket, 34, for his suspected involvement in a militant plot that officials believe was "at an advanced stage".

Kriket's arrest was followed by a raid on an apartment in Argenteuil, also near the French capital, where law enforcement officers seized two kilogrammes of the explosive TATP and a Kalashnikov rifle.

During a televised press conference on Thursday, Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said that the suspect was implicated in a plot to bring more carnage to the streets of Paris, but added that he was not linked to the terror attacks in Brussels.

Mr Cazeneuve said the arrest had been the result of a detailed investigation that had taken weeks to complete.

Media reports also claim that Belgian court documents from last year revealed that Kriket was found guilty in absentia by a Belgian court and sentenced to 10 years in prison for helping to recruit young Europeans to fight for jihadist groups in the Middle East.

On Saturday, an Algerian national wanted by the Belgian intelligence services, Djamal Eddine Ouali, was detained in Salerno, Italy.

Italian state police confirmed that he had been detained in Belizzi, a town located in the south of the region. He is understood to have been arrested under the European arrest warrant, in connection with the forging of fake ID documents used by the terrorists behind the Paris and Brussels attacks.

Confirming his arrest on Twitter, Italian police uploaded an image of the suspect being detained by armed officers, adding that he had been arrested for "aiding and abetting illegal immigration linked to the Paris massacre".

They added: "The Algerian arrested today in Salerno is part of a network of counterfeiters of residence permits also linked to the massacre of Brussels."

According to Ansa, Ouali is also believed to have provided a fake ID for Salah Abdeslam, a key suspect in the Paris attacks arrested in the Brussels' district of Molenbeek four days before the Brussels bombing.

The agency reported that Italian police were alerted to Ouali's whereabouts when he applied for a residence permit in the southern city of Salerno.

His extradition to Belgium is expected to be completed some time next week, more than two months after Belgian authorities placed him on a wanted list for "aiding and abetting illegal immigration" by producing false papers which could be used for illegal travel.