One of the bombers responsible for the Brussels bombings that killed 32 people on March 22 worked as a cleaner at the EU parliament, sources revealed. It said that the ISIS-affiliated bomber had a month-long summer job there in 2009 and 2010.
“One of the perpetrators of the Brussels terrorist attacks worked for a period of one month for a cleaning company which was contracted by the European Parliament at the time,” Reuters quoted EU assembly spokesman Jaume Duch Guillot as saying in a statement. The identity of the worker was not disclosed in the statement.
According to an EU official, the worker was a 25-year-old Belgian named Najim Laachraoui. The prosecutors said that the man blew himself up at the Brussels airport on the day of the attack and also allegedly made suicide vests for last November’s Paris attacks.
The EU parliament said that the cleaning firm through which Laachraoui was hired provided proof that he had no criminal records at that time.
The Belgian authorities were dragged into condemnation over its security arrangements following the attacks. Prime Minister Charles Michel defended his country, saying it is not a “failed state.” Michel said that as many as 30 security measures are in the process of being implemented in Brussels, including a ban on pre-paid mobile cards.
“Our key message today is we return to normal life in Brussels and in Belgium,” the Associated Press quoted the PM as saying. “When there is an attack like that, of course, that’s a failure and nobody can deny this. [But] I cannot accept the idea that we’re a failed state.”
He also said that one of the top priorities of the Belgian government in the coming months would be to empower the country’s security services with greater capacities.
“This means more equipment but also more capacities for our intelligence services,” the BBC quoted him as saying.