Paris terror attack suspect captured alive in Belgium
The last known surviving suspect in the deadly November, last year Paris terror attacks that killed 130 people has been captured alive, Belgian police confirmed yesterday.
Salah Abdeslam was taken into custody wounded, but alive, after a raid in the Molenbeek neighbourhood in Brussels.
Two other men have also been arrested, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said.
French President Francois Hollande said he expected Abdeslam to be extradited to France “as rapidly as possible.”
The raid came after his fingerprints were found in a Brussels flat raided on Tuesday.
Abdeslam, on the run since the attacks on November 13, last year was wounded in the leg as police moved in on a flat in the Molenbeek area.
Dramatic footage shows him being bundled into a police car after a volley of gunfire.
One of Europe’s most wanted men, Abdeslam is a key suspect in the jihadist attacks in Paris.
Michel said the raid had come after “intense” detective work.
“It’s a very important result in the battle for democracy, for the values that we want to embody against this abominable form of obscurantism,” he said, speaking alongside Hollande.
The French president said Abdeslam’s arrest was an “important moment,” but added that it was not the “final conclusion.”
“We realise that there were many more people than we at first thought.
“We must catch all those who allowed, organised or facilitated these attacks and we realise that they are a lot more numerous than we thought earlier and had identified,” he stated.
The raid followed the discovery of Abdeslam’s fingerprints in a flat in the southern Forest suburb of Brussels that was raided on Tuesday, although prosecutors said the prints could not be dated.
One man, identified as Algerian national, Mohamed Belkaid, and linked to the Paris attacks, was shot dead in Tuesday’s raid.
Officials said at the time they believed as many as two other suspects may have escaped.
Belkaid is believed to have used a false ID in the name of Samir Bouzid, while crossing the border between Austria and Hungary with Abdeslam and another man last September, the Belgian prosecutor’s office said.