Europe

US minor admits Brussels airport cyber attack - prosecutors

Brussels' Zaventem airport. File photo Image copyright AFP
Image caption The cyber attack in 2016 failed to take down Zaventem airport's website and hack into its computer system, Belgian prosecutors say

A US minor has admitted being behind a failed cyber attack on Brussels airport just hours after last year's bombings in Belgium's capital, prosecutors say.

They say that jointly with the FBI they questioned the boy in Pittsburgh, who "confessed having committed the acts". Media reports say he is 14 years old.

The attack had "no terrorist motives" and was not related to the bombings.

Thirty-two people died when suicide bombers attacked Zaventem airport and a metro station on 22 March 2016.

Many more were injured in the attacks. The toll did not include three bombers who died.

So-called Islamic State said it was behind the attacks.

What we know about Brussels attacks

In a statement on Thursday, Belgium's federal prosecutors say the attempt to take down Zaventem's website and hack into the airport's computer system on the night of 22-23 March 2016 was unsuccessful.

They say that after a request for legal assistance the FBI "interrogated a minor of American nationality" and that "he confessed having committed the acts".

"From the investigation and the first analyses of the seized hardware it appeared that there were no terrorist motives," the statement added.

The prosecutors say that "in the interest of the investigation" no further information will be released.

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