Belgium Apparently Arrested the Wrong Man

Suspect freed as they renew search for 'man in the hat' at airport
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2016 12:11 PM CDT

Belgian authorities thought they had caught the "man in the hat" seen in surveillance photos at the Brussels airport, with authorities openly denouncing the suspect as a terrorist over the weekend. Now it appears they had the wrong man. Authorities released the suspect on Monday and began a new push to identify the man dressed in white in the surveillance images, reports NBC News. The New York Times is using phrases such as "enormous blunder" and "stunning setback" to describe the development. Police had charged Faycal Cheffou with terrorism after a cabdriver identified him from a photo as the third man he drove to the airport the morning of the attacks, along with two suicide bombers.

"The evidence that had led to the arrest of the man named Faycal C. was not confirmed by the evolution of the ongoing investigation," says a spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor. "Consequently, he has been freed by the investigative judge." One Belgian official over the weekend described him as an "extremist jihadi horror," even though DNA tests had yet to come back. In refocusing their efforts to identify the actual third suspect, authorities on Monday released video of him walking in the airport prior to the blasts, reports the BBC. (More Brussels attack stories.)

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