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Snowden: Belgian Security Forces Had the Information to Stop Brussels Attackers

Snowden said Turkey had forewarned Belgium that suspects in Tuesday's attack were involved in terrorist activities.

FILE - This June 9, 2013 file photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, in Hong Kong. AP Photo/The Guardian

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden spoke out Friday on Tuesday’s terror attacks that devastated Brussels, claiming the terrorists could have been stopped based on information Turkey shared about the killers with Belgian security forces.

Snowden, the former NSA contractor who was deemed a traitor by British and American intelligence services after he leaked top secret information about the NSA’s spy activities, said Friday that Turkey had forewarned Belgium that some of the suspects behind the attacks on its capital’s subway station and airport were involved in terrorist activities.

Image source: Surveillance video


Speaking from an undisclosed location in Russia at a video conference hosted by the University of Arizona College of Behavioral Sciences Friday evening, Snowden added that Russia had also warned the United States about the Tsarvaevs, the culprits behind the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, but authorities did nothing, the Daily Sabah reported.

Tuesday’s attacks in Brussels resulted in the loss of 31 lives, with hundreds more injured after multiple explosions struck the Belgian capital. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.

French and Belgian police forces arrested Mohamed Abrini, the man Belgian state broadcaster RTBF has identified as the “man in the hat,” referring to widely circulated surveillance photo of the suspects taken at the Brussels airport, Saturday.

A Belgian filmmaker and journalist identified as Faycal Cheffou was also charged with terrorism and murder following the Brussels attack.

The suicide bombers in Tuesday’s attacks were identified by Belgian prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw Wednesday as brothers Ibrahim El Bakraoui, a suicide bomber at the airport, and Khalid El Bakraoui, who attacked the metro station. It was later revealed that the Bakraoui brothers were also listed on United States databases as potential terror threats.

Authorities are still searching for other unidentified suspects in Tuesday’s heinous killings.

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