Second suspect wanted in Brussels subway bombing

Belgium authorities are hunting for a second suspect linked to this week's deadly terror attacks.

FILE: A man lights a candle at a makeshift memorial at Place de la Bourse (Beursplein) following attacks in Brussels on 22 March, 2016. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG/BRUSSELS - It's now being reported that Belgium authorities are hunting for a second suspect linked to this week's deadly terror attacks.

"We heard earlier on from authorities that they were potentially seeking two men; the man in light coloured jacket whose image they released from the surveillance footage. We now heard from our sources that they are still seeking a second individual. So there are two individuals, at least, with direct involvement in these attacks."

Belgium authorities have also confirmed that Brussels airport will remain closed until at least Monday in the wake of this week's terror attacks.

Over 30 people were killed and nearly 300 others wounded in the co-ordinated suicide bombings at the airport and at a Metro, also in the Belgium capital.

Officials say the blast at the airport destroyed most of the departure hall.

WATCH: Belgium attacks reverberate in US politics.


Earlier today, Belgium's interior and justice ministers offered to resign on Thursday over the failure to track an Islamic State (Isis) militant expelled twice by Turkey as a suspected fighter last year and who blew himself up at Brussels airport this week.

Ibrahim El Bakraoui was one of three identified suspected suicide bombers who hit the airport and a metro train. At least one other man seen with them on airport security cameras is on the run and a fifth suspected bomber filmed in the metro attack may be dead or alive.

Interior Minister Jan Jambon and Justice Minister Koen Geens tendered their resignations to Prime Minister Charles Michel, who asked them to stay on. "In time of war, you cannot leave the field," Jambon, a right-wing Flemish nationalist, said.

The security lapses in a country that is home to the European Union and NATO have drawn international criticism of an apparent reluctance to tackle Islamist radicals effectively.

Turkish officials said Bakraoui, 29, had been expelled last July after being arrested at Gaziantep near the Syrian border and again in August after he returned to Antalya. Belgian and Dutch authorities had been notified of Turkish suspicions that he was a foreign fighter trying to reach Syria.

At the time, Belgian authorities replied that Bakraoui, who had skipped parole after serving less than half of a 9-year sentence for armed robbery, was a criminal but not a militant.

"You can ask how it came about that someone was let out so early and that we missed the chance to seize him when he was in Turkey. I understand the questions," Jambon said. "In the circumstances, it was right to take political responsibility and I offered my resignation to the prime minister."

Investigators are convinced that the same jihadist network was involved in the deadly Paris attacks last November.

Isis posted a video on social media on Thursday calling the Brussels blasts a victory and featuring the training of Belgian militants suspected in the 13 November shootings and suicide bombing rampage in Paris that killed 130 people.