From a March 16, 2016 Center for Security Policy article:
Two brothers Khalid and Ibrahim El Bakraoui were reportedly detained according to the media when one of the brothers showed up at a hospital with a broken leg. The other brother was found hiding in a house police were searching. The two brothers were known to have links to violent crime in the Brussels area.
Recognize those names? They were two of the suicide bombers behind the attacks in Brussels yesterday. From CBS News:
The two Belgian citizens had both been arrested previously, but not for related crimes.
Khalid was given a five year prison sentence in 2011 for armed robbery and car theft, according to French newpaper Le Monde. Ibrahim was sentenced to nine years in prison for opening fire on policemen using a Kalashnikov during a burglary in 2010, according to Belgian newspaper DH. It is not clear when he was released, nor why.
RTBF said Khalid El Bakraoui rented the apartment in the Forest neighborhood of the Belgian capital, using a false identity, that was raided by police last Friday in an operation that led to the arrest of top Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam.
Several Belgian news outlets reported last week that the Bakraoui brothers had been wanted since the March 15 raid. Interpol had also issued a “red notice” for Khalid’s arrest, but it’s not clear when exactly that was released. Khalid is listed as having dual Belgian and Bahamian citizenship.
It was not clear why the authorities had not asked the public to help find them.
It’s hard not to be angry when reading things like this. All signs point to Belgian authorities repeatedly failing to address and contain the threat of terrorism within their own borders. Will tragedies like these encourage our leaders to reevaluate their strategies? Maybe not. But maybe voters will give a referendum on dealing with terror in upcoming elections.