Police Intensify Manhunt for Third Airport Bomber As They Release Suspect

PHOTO: Police in riot gear sweep the area in front of the old bourse clear of right wing demonstrators next to one of the memorials to the victims of the recent Brussels attacks, at the Place de la Bourse in Brussels, March, 27, 2016. PlayAlastair Grant/AP
WATCH Rioters Clash With Police in Brussels

One of the men arrested by Belgian authorities in the wake of last week's deadly attacks in Belgium has been released after the federal prosecutor said authorities did not have sufficient evidence to keep him in custody.

Faycal Cheffou was arrested on Thursday for terror charges but officials have not yet explained why he was originally suspected or how he was allegedly involved in the attacks. He was released today.

The Belgian prosecutor put out a new statement this morning but did not clarify what evidence authorities had against him.

"The evidence that led to the arrest of Faycal C. has not been backed up by the ongoing investigation. As a result, he has been released by the judge," the statement said.

His release comes hours after Belgian police distributed a clip of the surveillance footage that shows the two suicide bombers and the third suspect, dubbed the "man in white." Police believe this man fled before the bombs detonated and survived.

The death toll from the attacks also continues to climb. Four people died in the hospital overnight on Sunday, bringing the total to 35 victims, according to the Belgian Health Minister.

The new death count followed tensions that boiled over in central Brussels Sunday evening as riot police were called to disperse hundreds of self-described fascists who rallied around a temporary shrine made to honor the victims of Tuesday’s deadly terror attacks that also injured hundreds.

At a public square in Brussels, police broke up crowds who officials said were throwing chairs, trash cans and other objects during the protests.

Hundreds of people were remembering the victims killed last week when dozens of men dressed in masks barged into the center of Place de la Bourse and mounted the steps of the stock exchange building.

“We had 340 hooligans from different football clubs who came to Brussels and we knew for sure that they would create some trouble,” Police Commissioner Christian De Coninck said.

Riot police backed by water cannons surrounded the group, whose members held a banner denouncing the Islamic State group that claimed responsibility for the bombings, and forced them toward a nearby train station.

De Coninck said around 10 people were arrested and that two police officers were injured.

Raids Across Europe

Amid the unrest at the capital, police across Belgium carried out 13 house searches Sunday and detained four people for unspecified terrorism incidents, according to the country’s federal prosecutor’s office.

At least four others so far were being held on terrorism-related charges in Belgium.

A terror suspect was also detained in the Netherlands Sunday after a request from French authorities, a spokesman in Rotterdam said. A local prosecutor’s spokesman told ABC News that France made the request to the Netherlands Friday to detain a suspect accused of being “involved in planning a terror attack” in France.

Police in Italy and Germany were also investigating suspects for their possible links to the Brussels attacks.

As anti-terrorism operations continued across Europe, Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon acknowledged decades of neglect had hurt the country’s ability to respond to violent extremism despite the government’s recent spending on security services.

Despite investing 600 million euros, or about $670 million in the past two years on anti-terror mechanisms, Jambon admitted those investments needed time.

“It is also not because you put the money in now that tomorrow all this is visible on the ground,” he said.

Brussels Airport to Reopen Soon

Brussels Airport said over the weekend that it did not expect to reopen before Tuesday.

But an examination of the main building housing the departure hall wrecked by two suicide bombers showed the structure is stable and officials will now see whether temporary check-in desks can be installed.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said that Faycal Cheffou was believed to be the third suspect pictured in airport surveillance footage before the deadly bombing. Authorities have not publicly confirmed any connection. This story has been further updated to reflect that he was released because authorities believed there was insufficient evidence to keep him detained.