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Erdogan lashes out at Belgium over Brussels attacker

Friday, March 25, 2016 - 00:43

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says Belgian authorities must be held accountable for releasing Brussels attacker Ibrahim El Bakraoui, after he was deported from Turkey. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused the Belgian authorities on Friday (March 25) of being soft on militant groups and said they should account for intelligence failures in the run-up to Islamic State suicide bombings in Brussels. Erdogan said European authorities had shown themselves "incompetent" after Turkey deported one of the Brussels attackers last July but he was subsequently released. European authorities had previously released Ibrahim El Bakraoui, one of two brothers named by Belgium as responsible for Tuesday's attacks in Brussels, following his deportation from Turkey. "Such incompetent governments... We detained this man in Gaziantep and we deported him. We sent him back but those gentlemen didn't do what was necessary and released that terrorist. Come on now, account for it now, answer for it. My brothers, terrorism is not the problem of a single country, it's a problem of the whole world and God willing they will understand that." he said. Erdogan said on Wednesday (March 23) that Belgium had ignored a warning that Bakraoui was a militant. But Bakraoui was deported to the Netherlands, which said it did not realize he was a dangerous suspect as Turkey had failed to follow normal procedures when expelling him. Dutch authorities on Thursday released a copy of a note from the Turkish foreign ministry, dated July 14, 2015, informing them of Bakraoui's deportation and flight details, but making no mention of the reasons for his expulsion or of his suspected links to militants. Belgium's interior and justice ministers offered to resign on Thursday (March 24) over the failure to track Bakraoui, but Prime Minister Charles Michel asked them to stay on. Bakraoui blew himself up at Brussels airport on Tuesday (March 22). Turkey has itself faced criticism for failing to do more to stop the flow of foreign fighters, estimated to be in their thousands, who have crossed its territory to join the ranks of Islamic State in neighboring Syria and Iraq.

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Erdogan lashes out at Belgium over Brussels attacker

Friday, March 25, 2016 - 00:43