News & Politics

Belgium Releases Only Suspect in Brussels Bombings

(Belgian Federal Police via AP)

Citing lack of evidence, Belgium today released the only suspect charged specifically in connection with the Brussels bombings. Fayçal Cheffou, 35, a “migrants’ rights activist,” was charged in Brussels last Thursday with “membership of a terrorist group, terrorist murder and attempted terrorist murder.”

Cheffou was thought to be the man in a dark hat and light jacket seen on the right side of the airport footage pushing a trolley next to suicide bombers Ibrahim el-Bakraoui and Najim Laachraoui.

The bomb believed to have been carried by Cheffou failed to go off and was safely detonated by police.

Belgium’s federal prosecutor announced the stunning reversal Monday, saying that “Faycal C” had been released due to a lack of evidence.

Video posted in 2014 by a man who identified himself as Cheffou focused on the plight of Muslim refugees, “forgotten” by the rest of the world.

A former colleague described Cheffou as an independent journalist who “fell into” conspiracy theories.

According to Belgium’s health minister, 96 people remain hospitalized in Brussels and the official death toll has risen to 35 after four more victims died in the hospital.