Belgium arrests new Brussels attacks suspect: Prosecutor

The departure hall is pictured on May 1, 2016, during the partial reopening of the Brussels Airport in Zaventem, after it was badly damaged in the March 22 attacks.
The departure hall is pictured on May 1, 2016, during the partial reopening of the Brussels Airport in Zaventem, after it was badly damaged in the March 22 attacks.PHOTO: AFP

BRUSSELS (AFP) - Belgian police investigating the Brussels airport and metro attacks have arrested a man in connection with "terrorist murders", the federal prosecutor said on Friday (June 10).

The 31-year-old man, identified only as Ali E.H.A., was detained on Thursday during a house search in the Schaerbeek area of the capital, the prosecutor's office said.

Several people have previously been charged over the March 22 suicide bombings at Zaventem airport and Maalbeek metro station which killed 32 people.

"In connection with the federal investigation after the terrorist attacks in Zaventem and Brussels, a house search was conducted," the statement said.

"The Belgian national Ali E.H.A., born on 23rd September 1984, was arrested and later put in detention by the Investigating Judge for participation in the activities of a terrorist group, terrorist murders and attempted terrorist murders, as a perpetrator, co-perpetrator or accomplice."

The announcement comes a day after a Belgian court approved the extradition to France of Mohamed Abrini, a key suspect in both the Brussels attacks and the November Paris attacks in which 130 people were killed.

Abrini will not be handed over to French authorities for some time as he is still being investigated over the Belgium attacks.

Another key suspect linked to both the Paris and Brussels killings, Salah Abdeslam, was extradited to France in April.