BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on the suicide bombings this week in Brussels (all times local):
Hungary’s interior minister says the government wants to limit phone calls in the vicinity of any future terror attack to prevent the overload of communications networks and avoid interference with emergency and rescue services.
Interior Minister Sandor Pinter said Thursday that civilians would be restricted to sending only text messages in areas affected by any attack. The concept’s technical aspects would be developed jointly with the telecommunications companies.
Pinter said networks frequently collapse after attacks because of the large number of people wanting to get in touch with friends or relatives.
Pinter said another alternative would be to expand an exclusive radio network already used by police and the disaster management agency to other emergency services like firefighters, ambulances and hospitals.
The idea is part of a new package of anti-terrorism measures being discussed by the government that also seeks to grant intelligence services greater access to financial transactions and personal communications.
The driver of the subway train bombed in Brussels this week immediately helped victims despite the horror and fear of the attack — but he insists he’s not a hero.
Christian Delhasse described to Belgian state broadcaster RTBF doing “what I had to do.” He’s reportedly already back at work, as the Belgian public transport system gradually gets back toward normal following Tuesday’s deadly attacks at the Maelbeek station and Brussels airport.
Delhasse posted a statement on his Facebook page saying, “I’m a metro driver who did his work in specific circumstances. Any other driver in my place would have done the same thing. The heroes are our firefighters, our forces of order, our army.”
He urged respect for “the victims we couldn’t pull out.”
The lawyer for the chief Paris attacks suspect says his client is not fighting extradition to France, which is seeking his extradition from Belgium to face potential terrorism charges.
Salah Abdeslam’s lawyer, Sven Mary, told reporters in Brussels on Thursday that he asked for a one-month delay on any transfer while he studies the large dossier.
He said that Abdeslam “wants to leave for France as quickly as possible.”
Abdeslam was captured in Brussels last week after four months on the run following the Nov. 13 Paris attacks on a stadium, rock concert and cafes that killed 130 people.
The chief suspect in last year’s deadly Paris attacks is facing a hearing in Brussels, amid increasing signs that the same Islamic State cell was behind attacks in both cities.
Salah Abdeslam is scheduled to face magistrates Thursday morning after his arrest last week in the same Brussels neighborhood where he grew up. France is seeking his extradition to face potential terrorism charges for his involvement in the Nov. 13 attacks on a Paris rock concert, stadium and cafes, which killed 130 people. Several attackers were also killed.
European security officials say one of the suicide bombers who attacked the Brussels airport Tuesday is a suspected bombmaker for the Paris attackers.
A car accompanied by police left the prison in Bruges where Abdeslam has been held on Thursday morning.
Belgian state broadcaster RTBF and France’s Le Monde are reporting that a second attacker is suspected of taking part in the bombing this week of a Brussels subway train and may be at large.
The media, citing unnamed sources, said Thursday the suspect was filmed by surveillance cameras in the Brussels metro on Tuesday carrying a large bag alongside Khalid El Bakraoui, whom prosecutors have identified as a suicide bomber. RTBF said it is not clear whether the second suspect was killed in the attack.
El Bakraoui’s brother was identified as one of two suicide bombers who targeted the Brussels airport the same day in attacks that killed at least 31 people and injured more than 200.
Prosecutors did not immediately respond to the reports.
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