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Belgium Investigates Aborted Cyber Attack That Followed 2016 Airport Bombing | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A soldier stands near broken windows after explosions at Zaventem airport near Brussels, Belgium, March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Prosecutors in Belgium Thursday officially announced an undergoing investigation of a cyber attack on Brussels airport’s website the night after it was bombed by radical terrorists, following an admission by a U.S. youth that he had targeted the website remotely.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation searched a house in Pittsburgh and questioned an American minor who admitted to trying to disrupt the airport’s website, Belgian federal prosecutors said in a statement.

FBI agents questioned a 14-year-old boy from Pittsburgh, who admitted trying to hack Zaventem airport’s website and computer system in March 2016, they said.

In a statement, Belgium officials said: ‘Within the framework of this investigation, the FBI proceeded to a house search in Pittsburgh upon a request for legal assistance from the Belgian Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office, and interrogated a minor of American nationality.

While they said his bid was not motivated by extremism and failed to disable the airport’s website, the investigation shows how Belgian authorities are cooperating with U.S. counterparts to investigate the attacks last March.

A source close to the investigation told AFP the minor is a 14 year-old boy. ‘He is not radicalized and he told himself it was the right time” to carry out the cyber attack, the source added.

It is part of the wider net cast after suicide bombers grotesquely killed 32 people in coordinated attacks at Brussels Airport and the city’s metro system in March 2016.