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Belgium seeks man linked to museum attacks suspect

AFP

Belgian police are looking for a man with possible links to the suspect in a May attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels that left four dead. The man was seen with Mehdi Nemmouche, who has been charged with the murders, days after the attack.

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A judicial official said Friday that Belgian authorities want to speak to a bald-headed man who was seen carrying a sports bag while walking with Nemmouche at Brussels North railway station four days after the May 24 shootings.

"We want this person to explain his presence there," a spokesman for Belgium's federal prosecutors said.

Police posted a video of a man walking alongside a blurred-out individual last week. Authorities said at the time that the video was released in connection with "acts considered murder" but no details linking him to the Jewish Museum suspect were available until Friday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said police want to question the man in the video as a witness.

Security camera footage from the Jewish Museum attack showed a man wearing a dark cap and a blue jacket enter the building, take a Kalashnikov rifle out of a bag, and shoot into a room before walking out. An Israeli couple and a French woman died on the spot while a fourth victim, a Belgian man, died later in hospital.

Nemmouche, 29, was arrested at a Marseille bus station carrying weapons resembling those used in the killings. It was later revealed that he had spent more than a year training with jihadists in Syria.

A French national, Nemmouche was extradited to Belgium in July and has since been charged with "murder in a terrorist context".

Europe has been on high alert since a series of attacks in France earlier this month that left 17 people dead at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine and in eastern Paris.  

Anti-terror raids in the eastern Belgian town of Verviers last week left two suspects dead after a firefight with police. Belgian authorities later said the cell was on the verge of planning a "significant" attack.

Since then, Belgium has stepped up its terror threat level to 3, the second-highest level, and has started posting paratroopers in the streets to protect potential targets like certain embassies and Jewish sites, including the Brussels Jewish Museum.

(FRANCE 24 with AP and REUTERS)

 

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