Belgium frees 4 questioned over station attack
BRUSSELS, Belgium – Belgian investigators freed 4 people on Thursday after questioning them about their contacts with a man who tried to bomb a Brussels train station before a soldier shot him dead, officials said.
Police arrested them on Wednesday because they allegedly had had "regular contact" with the Moroccan who partially set off the device late Tuesday at Brussels Central station but failed to harm anyone.
"The 4 persons who were... taken in for a thorough questioning are released without indictment," Belgium's federal prosecutor's office said in a statement.
Investigators said they found evidence Wednesday that the bomb suspect had sympathies with the Islamic State group (ISIS).
They also found explosive materials in a raid on the home of the suspect in Molenbeek, a Brussels district which has been linked to recent deadly terror plots in France and Belgium.
Belgian authorities identified the man as a 36-year-old Moroccan national with the initials O.Z., while local media named him as Oussama Zariouh.
No one was injured in the foiled attack but officials said the consequences could have been severe had the bomb, full of nails and gas canisters, detonated properly.
He had been linked to a drugs offence, but not for radicalism.
Tuesday's blast came a day after a man mowed down Muslims near a mosque in London, and a suspected Islamist on a terror watchlist rammed a car laden with weapons into a police vehicle in Paris.
Brussels was already on high alert since suicide bombers struck Zaventem Airport and the Maalbeek metro station near the EU quarter in March 2016, killing 32 people and injuring hundreds more.
ISIS claimed the attacks, which were carried out by the same Brussels-based cell behind the November 2015 suicide bombings and shootings in Paris which left 130 people dead. – Rappler.com