BELGA/BOGAERTS

Brussels attacks post mortems stolen by jihadi fighter

Last week a thief forced his way into the office of the police physician working for the Brussels public prosecutor's office.  He managed to steel a hard drive containing several documents including the autopsy reports of the victims of the Brussels attacks at Brussels Airport and Maalbeek metro station in 2016.

Detectives have now identified a suspect: 27-year-old Illias K., who denies the charges but has been detained.  Judicial sources question whether this was a targeted burglary as other items too were stolen.  The suspect isn't linked to the Brussels attacks or any of the victims either.

However, Illias K., is a jihadi who fought in Syria and later returned to Belgium after he was injured.  At one point he admitted beheading a man in Syria. He was recruited by Jean-Louis Denis, a notorious figure who recruited numerous jihadis in Belgium, and Khalid Zerkani, who was involved in similar practices.  In 2016 Illias K. received a 5 year sentence for being a member of a terrorist group.  Half the sentence was suspended.  He was never prosecuted on account of the alleged beheading.