On Friday morning, the Belgian city of Schaerbeek heard three explosions as anti-terrorist raids took place in the city, according to ABC. One suspect was wounded and detained after police and military trucks surrounded a major intersection. So who is the man police arrested in Schaerbeek with ties to the Brussels attacks? Authorities have yet to release details on who the suspect was, although The Wall Street Journal reports that the suspect arrested was a man and a "big fish" in the investigation, according to a Belgian government official.
The Schaerbeek suspect was wearing a backpack and refused to obey orders from authorities, according to the BBC, which led to him being shot — a scene captured by reporters and bystanders. BBC reports that the operation in Schaerbeek is now over.
"I can confirm a police operation targeting a person who was intercepted by police and suffered a slight leg injury," Schaerbeek mayor Bernard Clerfayt said, according to ABC. He reportedly added that the man was linked to the Brussels attacks, as well as to a plot planned this week near Paris.
According to ABC, the raid in Schaerbeek was related to the recent arrest of French national Reda Kriket in Paris' Argenteuil suburb on Thursday night. The Kriket was reportedly behind "a planned bombing in France that was at an advanced stage," according to French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve, as quoted by The Guardian.
A Schaerbeek apartment raid had recently yielded chemicals, 15 kilograms of explosive TATP, a suitcase, and an ISIS flag, according to CNN. A computer in a nearby trash bin also revealed the will of Ibrahim El Bakraoui, one of the Brussels airport suicide bombers. On Thursday, Belgian authorities were seen conducting searches in Schaerbeek again, which led to the arrest of the suspect on Friday.
Ten suspects have already been held in Belgium, France, and Germany in connection to the Brussels attack on Tuesday. One of the airport bombers, Ibrahim El Bakraoui, was arrested and deported by Turkey in June 2015, and Turkish officials had warned the Netherlands and Belgium that El Bakraoui was a foreign fighter.
El Bakraoui was one of three bombers at the Brussels airport. A second man was confirmed as Najim Laachraoui, according to Reuters. Suspected bombmaker Laachraoui has also been linked to the Nov. 13 Paris attacks. The third suspect has not been identified. Khalid El Bakraoui, Ibrahim's brother, was behind the attack on the Brussels metro station, killing 20, and the BBC reports that Nov. 13 Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam, arrested last Friday, was connected to the Brussels attacks as well. Recent reports by The Telegraph claim Abdeslam has remained tight-lipped since the Brussels attacks.
Details are still emerging on exactly who the Schaerbeek suspect is and what role he played in these terror plots.