Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said one of the Brussels bombers was arrested in Turkey and deported back to Belgium in June with a warning that he was a militant, it has sensationally been revealed. Ibrahim El Bakraoui, who yesterday blew himself up at Brussels Airport, was arrested southern Turkey close to the Syrian border last summer. Officials said he was deported to Holland before being passed back over to Belgium.
The president said Belgian authorities had failed to confirm the suspect's links to terrorism 'despite our warnings that he was a foreign fighter'. The revelation came as it was revealed this evening that the identity of the 'Man in White', who was previously thought to be explosives expert Najim Laachraoui, remains a mystery. He is now Europe's most wanted man and a major international manhunt to find him remains ongoing.
It emerged as it was revealed that Laachraoui was actually the other airport suicide bomber, who was pictured on the left-hand side on CCTV footage showing the three ISIS suspects wheeling their suitcases into the terminal prior to the deadly bombing which occurred at 8am local time yesterday.
Khalid El Bakraoui (left) detonated his suicide vest on a Brussel Metro Train at Maelbeek station. His Brother Ibrahim El Bakraoui (centre) blew himself up with explosive packed suitcase at Brussels airport. Najim Laachraou identified as explosive expert (Right) accompanied Ibrahim.
Ibrahim and Laachraoui killed 14 people and injured dozens of others when they set off suicide vests and explosives-packed suitcases at the airport. They were accompanied by the 'Man in White' who abandoned his suicide mission and fled the terminal when his nail-shrouded bomb failed to explode.
Later, Ibrahim's brother - Khalid El Bakraoui - detonated his suicide vest on a Brussels Metro train at Maelbeek station killing 20 people. Earlier today, it emerged that Ibrahim left a suicide note telling how he was desperate to blow himself up because he did not want to go to prison like his friend, the Paris logistics chief Salah Abdeslam.
The typed note, found next to 15kg of homemade explosives, an AK-47 and an ISIS flag during a raid at a property in the Schaerbeek area of the city, said: 'I don't know what to do. I'm in a hurry. I'm on the run. People are looking for me everywhere. And if I give myself up then I'll end up in a cell.'
The latest twist came after it was revealed the Belgian El Bakraoui brothers escaped police in a gunfight during an anti-terror raid just eight days ago. Laachraoui - now revealed as the second airport suicide bomber - was already one of the world's most wanted men, having built the suicide vests used in the Paris attacks and went on the run with Salah Abdeslam, one of the other Paris massacre masterminds, before hiding in Brussels for four months.
He is suspected of rigging up the suicide vests that helped kill 34 in twin attacks yesterday and is believed to have done the same for the Paris attacks.
Today it emerged there could have been another suitcase bomb set off in the airport but the ISIS fanatics couldn't fit all their explosive-packed bags into a taxi outside their safehouse. They refused to let the driver touch the bags - prompting him to later contact the police about their suspicious behaviour.
Investigators are now desperate to track down the 'Man in White' - the third ISIS suspect pictured at the airport - as well as Mohamed Abrini, who was thought to be a close friend of the 'Man in White' and Abdeslam, for his possible involvement in the mass slaughter in the Belgium capital on Tuesday.