The Isis militants who killed more than 30 people in a string of bombings in Brussels were “in a rush” after being thrown into panic by the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, an uncovered will has suggested.
Police searching a property used by at least three of the attackers uncovered a statement apparently written by Brahim (Ibrahim) el-Bakraoui, who blew himself up at Brussels Airport.
Frederic Van Leeuw, Belgium's federal prosecutor, said the document was found dumped in a bin outside a flat in Schaerbeek.
Paraphrasing el-Bakraoui's statement, Mr Van Leeuw said the 29-year-old Belgian was “in a rush, not knowing what to do, being hunted everywhere, no longer being safe”.
The suicide bomber reportedly said he believed that if the situation continued he would “end up in a cell” alongside Abdeslam, who was caught on Friday after four months on the run following the Paris attacks.
Searches of the flat where the laptop was discovered also revealed bomb-making equipment including 15kg of explosives and a suitcase full of nails, suggesting that the extremists were equipped to cause many more deaths.
El-Bakraoui was identified using DNA traces as one of the suicide bombers who massacred passengers at Brussels Airport on Tuesday morning.
A second suicide bomber pictured alongside him in CCTV footage has not been identified and a third man, believed to be Najim Laachraoui, is still on the run.
He wheeled a third suitcase bomb into the airport, said to contain the most powerful explosive charge, but it did not go off and was later destroyed without injury.
Laachraoui was linked to the Paris attacks after his his DNA was found on explosive belts at the Bataclan theatre, Stade de France and at a suspected Isis bomb factory concealed inside a flat.
Brahim's brother, 27-year-old Khalid el-Bakraoui, was named by Mr Van Leeuw as having carried out the bomb attack on a Metro train at Maelbeek station.
“The two dead terrorists had large police files, but not linked to terrorism,” he added, referring to their past criminal history including robbery and firearms offences.
Belgian authorities have warned that several people possibly linked to the deadly attacks on Brussels are still on the loose.
Paul Van Tigchelt, head of Belgium's terrorism threat body, told reporters it was the reason for Belgium's terror alert remaining at its highest level as searches a are carried out.
One person detained in the raids remains in custody Wednesday and was being questioned.
The first explosion went off at 7.58am local time and the second followed nine seconds later by check-in desks at Brussels Airport. Little over an hour later, the third bomber killed himself at Maalbeek station.
Health officials said they could not confirm a definitive death toll as efforts to identify the victims continue but prosecutors said at least 31 people had been killed and more than 250 injured.
Additional reporting by agencies
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