The Latest: Polish PM: Europe must end 'plague' of terrorism
BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on the attacks in Brussels and related investigations (all times local):
Poland's prime minister has urged European leaders to immediately open talks and find the means to end the "plague" of terrorism.
Prime Minister Beata Szydlo spoke Wednesday at the Belgian Embassy in Warsaw, where she laid flowers to honor the victims of Tuesday's attacks in Brussels.
Szydlo appealed for urgent talks that would allow Europe to "effectively counter this plague that is consuming Europe."
She says "we must put an end to terrorism in Europe. We must not be afraid."
The U.S. House of Representatives in Washington has approved a resolution condemning the attacks in Brussels.
The non-binding measure also pledges U.S. support for the Belgium government and declares that Islamic State militants pose a threat to freedom. The vote Wednesday was 409-0.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for bombing attacks Tuesday on the Brussels airport and a city subway that left 34 people dead, including three suicide bombers, and wounded 270.
The resolution also expresses condolences to those affected by the attacks.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says one of the lessons learned from yet another attack in a European Union nation is that the bloc's 28 nations must heavily increase their investments in anti-terror measures.
Valls told reporters "in the coming years, EU nations will have to invest massively in their security system." He spoke after meeting with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels.
Valls mentioned specifically that more funds will be needed for "manpower, technology — to face the types of threats that we will have to face."
A top European Union official says the bloc's 28 nations need to cooperate better in sharing intelligence to counter the threat of religious extremism.
Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU commissioner for migration and citizenship, was speaking Wednesday, a day after three bombings in Brussels killed 34 people including three suicide bombers and wounded 270 others.
He says "it's a moment for all member states to start working together. To foster mutual trust, exchange information and intelligence, because this is the only way to go ahead."
He said the EU's police cooperation agency, Europol, is the place to share intelligence in an attempt to foil attacks.
The German government has held a minute of silence for the victims of the Brussels attacks at the start of its weekly Cabinet meeting.
The German Foreign Ministry also confirms that some of its citizens are among the over 270 people wounded in the Brussels attacks, including one seriously injured person. It did not elaborate.
Explosions at the Brussels airport and a city subway center killed 34 people Tuesday, including three suicide bombers, and wounded over 270 people.
Dozens gathered for a moment of silence outside the European Commission, hoping to show solidarity with the victims of the Brussels attacks and be with their fellow citizens in a time of crisis.
Among them was Alessandro Prister, 56, who works for Eurocontrol. He says Wednesday that he "felt it was my duty to show solidarity with all the victims" and to offer testament that this kind of attack should never happen again.
Prister was saddened that such things could happen in Brussels and says "I couldn't be any other place today."
Belgium's chief prosecutor says investigators have found 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of TATP explosives at the house which the suspects in the Brussels attacks left from for the airport. Federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw says a cab driver who drove the three suspects to the airport led authorities to the house in Brussels. He says a special squad found the explosives inside the house, along with other chemicals that are commonly used to make bombs.
Explosions on Tuesday at the Brussels airport and a city subway center killed 34 people, including three suicide bombers, and wounded over 270 people.
The Belgian prosecutor says two suspects in the bombings at the Brussels airport have still not yet been identified — one of them is a dead suicide bomber and the other is still on the loose.
Prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw, speaking about a surveillance photo showing three airport suspects, outlined what is known about them at a news conference Wednesday.
Van Leeuw says the culprit in the middle, one of the two suicide bombers, was Ibrahim El Bakraoui, a 29-year-old Belgian born in Brussels. He said he was identified based on a fingerprint.
He says the second suicide bomber, on the left in the picture, is not yet identified.
The third suspect, who wore a pale coat and a dark hat in the right side of the picture, is also not yet identified and is being sought by police.
That suspect took flight and left behind a big bag at the airport before the two explosions. Van Leeuw says that bag turned out to have the heaviest load of explosives of all and blew up later when the bomb squad was there due to the instability of the explosives. Van Leeuw says fortunately no one was injured.
Belgian authorities say several people possibly linked to deadly attacks on Brussels are still on the loose.
Paul Van Tigchelt, head of Belgium's terrorism threat body, told reporters Wednesday that is why the country is keeping the terrorism threat level at its highest level, which means there is a danger of an imminent attack.
He spoke alongside prosecutors who say they are searching for at least one person directly involved in the attack on Brussels airport.
A Belgian prosecutor says a suicide bomber who attacked the Brussels airport left a will on a computer found in a trash can in a Brussels neighborhood.
Federal Prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw told reporters Wednesday that Ibrahim El Bakraoui blew himself up at the airport Tuesday in twin suicide bombings.
Investigators raided the Brussels neighborhood of Schaerbeek after the attacks and found a computer in a trash can on the street including a note from El Bakraoui saying he felt increasingly unsafe and feared landing in prison.
The prosecutor also said one person detained in one of the raids remains in custody Wednesday and is under questioning.
A Belgian prosecutor has identified two of the attackers who targeted the Brussels airport and subway as brothers Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui but says another unidentified attacker remains at large.
Federal Prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw told reporters Wednesday that Ibrahim El Bakraoui, 29, and another as yet unidentified suicide bomber attacked the airport.
A third attacker also came to the airport with an explosive in a bag, but it exploded later and no one was hurt, the prosecutor said.
He said Khalid El Bakraoui, 27, blew himself up at the Maelbeek subway station. The attacks Tuesday killed at least 31 people and wounded 270, he said.
Brussels airport has announced that it will remain closed to passenger flights for at least another day, right up to the start of the busy Easter weekend.
Airport officials said they would have to cancel some 600 flights each on Wednesday and Thursday. It means that since the attack on the airport Tuesday morning, the flights of some 180,000 passengers will be disrupted.
Brussels airport was hoping to resume cargo flights earlier but there was no immediate word on when.
Belgians are holding a moment of silence to honor at least 34 people killed in unprecedented Islamic extremist attacks on Brussels.
Government offices, schools and residents marked the moment in a mood of anxiety, defiance — and fear that other people involved in the attacks Tuesday on the Brussels airport and a subway station may still be at large.
The country is holding three days of national mourning for the victims. In addition to those killed, over 200 people were wounded in the attacks.
Belgian police, meanwhile, are conducting raids and the country is at its highest terrorism alert level, meaning there's a risk of an imminent attack.
The Belgian football federation has called off an international soccer friendly match against Portugal next week because of Tuesday's attacks in Brussels.
The federation said "because of security concerns" the city of Brussels asked for the cancellation and the federation obliged. The game was to have been played next Tuesday at the King Baudouin stadium in Brussels.
The Belgian team, which is one of the favorites to win this summer's European Championships, had already canceled training for the friendly since the attacks.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says the show must go on and big events, be they sports or cultural, must not be put on hold for fear of terror attacks.
He says Wednesday that includes the Euro2016 soccer tournament, a monthlong event being held in France that starts in June.
Valls says "the big popular events are indispensable in showing that we are a free people, on our feet, that we aren't scared."
Some commentators had called for the soccer tournament to be postponed due to the threat of terror.
Valls says authorities know these events are faced with a terror threat and will plan accordingly. But he insists that events like the Euro2016 tournament, the Tour de France bicycling race and "other large demonstrations will take place."
Pope Francis has led thousands of people in silent prayer for the victims of the attacks at Brussels' airport and in its metro.
At the end of his public audience in St. Peter's Square Wednesday, Francis expressed his closeness to the "dear Belgian people" and asked the crowd of pilgrims and tourists to join him silently in prayer.
He also appealed to "all persons of good will to unite in unanimous condemnation" of the attacks causing death, horror and sorrow.
Francis is preparing to celebrate Holy Week ceremonies that will draw large crowds, including a Colosseum cross procession and culminating with Easter Mass in the square on Sunday.
The U.S. Embassy in Rome on Wednesday issued a travel alert advising "particular caution during religious holidays" as well as at large events.
The Czech Defense Ministry says soldiers have been deployed as part of stepped-up security measures following the attacks in Brussels.
As of Wednesday morning, the ministry says 550 service members will be patrolling international airports, train stations and other places in the capital and all across the country, working with police officers.
Security was also boosted at Prague's subway network, at the country's two nuclear power plants and some foreign embassies.
A lawyer's assistant says a judicial hearing in Brussels for Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam has been postponed for a day to Thursday, apparently because of heightened security concerns in the Belgian capital.
Bombing attacks Tuesday in the Brussels airport and subway killed 34 people and wounded scores, and the terrorism alert level throughout Belgium has been raised to its maximum level.
Abdeslam, who was arrested Friday in Brussels, was to appear Wednesday before a panel of judges who could extend his detention by another month. French authorities are seeking Abdeslam's extradition so he can be tried for his alleged role in the Nov. 13 bomb-and-gun attacks that killed 130 in Paris.
An assistant to Sven Mary, Abdeslam's defense lawyer, told The Associated Press her boss was told the hearing had been rescheduled for Thursday morning. She refused to give her name.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is urging the EU parliament to get going on authorizing a passenger name record (PNR) covering Europe.
He says: "It is urgent to adopt the European PNR. The European Parliament has waited too long to adopt this text. It must examine and adopt it in April, it's time."
Valls is going to Brussels today and says he will express his "full solidarity" with Belgium's people.
As Brussels woke after its worst violence in decades, joggers ran loops and dog walkers chatted as usual in Brussels' 18th-century Warandepark across from the country's parliament. But gardeners on duty said the atmosphere was different, and the mood around town was jittery as sirens frequently wailed.
"It was black day. A very black day," said Jean-Marie Vrebos, 58, who was cleaning the park's playground. "We should punish those who commit terrorism. We don't deserve terror. We should punish them, GRAB them" — he yanked a piece of trash off the ground with a clasper — "and bring them to justice."
His colleague Kevin Engels, 24, said, "Behaviors have changed. Even our bosses seem stressed. They asked us to empty all the trash cans. We pay close attention to everything. And you can hear the sirens."
Germany's top security official says he wants European security agencies to be able to exchange information more easily.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told RTL television late Tuesday that the Brussels attacks "and the security situation, the terror situation, should make us put the data protection arguments last."
De Maziere also says a soccer friendly match against England will go ahead despite the Brussels attacks. He says authorities "have no indications of a security threat" targeting the match in Berlin on Saturday.
In November, Islamic extremists tried to enter the stadium where Germany was playing France as part of a series of attacks in Paris. Days later, a friendly against the Netherlands days was canceled because of a security warning.
Belgian authorities were searching Wednesday for a top suspect in the country's deadliest attacks in decades, as the European Union's capital awoke under guard and with limited public transport after 34 were killed in bombings on the Brussels airport and a subway station.
Police conducted raids into the night and circulated a photo of three men seen in the airport suspected of involvement in Tuesday's attacks.
Belgian state broadcaster RTBF has identified two of the attackers as brothers Khalid and Brahim Bakraoui. They are believed to have blown themselves up in the attacks.
The third man is at large and has not been identified.
The report Wednesday says the brothers were known to police for past crimes, but nothing relating to terrorism. RTBF says Khalid Bakraoui had rented an apartment which was raided by police last week in an operation that led authorities to top Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam.