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Paris Attack Suspect Saleh Abdeslam Captured in Brussels Police Raid

Belgian minister confirms Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam has been captured by police after his fingerprints were found earlier in a Brussels apartment.

The man accused of planning the Paris attacks has been captured in Brussels, officials said on Friday.

Police arrested Salah Abdeslam and an accomplice during a series of raids in the capital. Theo Francken, Belgium’s Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, tweeted that Abdeslam was captured. A third suspect was arrested on Friday evening.

At a press conference in Brussels, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel confirmed Abdeslam and two other suspects were arrested during a raid by Belgian and French special forces police. Abdeslam and another man were shot during an exchange of gunfire. The third suspect was not injured.

VTM raid Molenbeek4

Frederic Van Leeuw, the Belgian prosecutor, later said five people were detained on Friday. Police carried out four raids in the capital, including in Molenbeek, where a number of the Paris attackers were from. Officials had been searching for Abdeslam since the Nov. 13 attacks.

Earlier Friday, the Belgian prosecutor’s office confirmed that Abdeslam’s fingerprints were recovered at an apartment in Brussels where Belgian and French police carried out a joint raid on Tuesday in connection with the attacks. Four officers were injured in that raid when suspects opened fire on police; one assailant was killed. Two men, possibly Abdeslam and his accomplice, were reported at large after that incident.


Abdeslam, a Belgian of Moroccan descent, rented the car used in the attack on the Bataclan concert hall which killed 89 people and wounded over 200. Abdeslam is also suspected to have been the driver of the car on the night of the attack. His brother, Brahim, blew himself up at a Paris cafe during the attacks.

French President Francois Hollande said the Paris prosecutor will seek Abdeslam’s extradition to France.



The fingerprints of Paris attack suspect Salah Abdeslam were found at a Brussels apartment that was raided this week, the Belgian prosecutor’s office has confirmed.

“We can confirm that fingerprints of Salah Abdeslam were found in the apartment,” said Eric Van Der Sypt, spokesman for Belgian federal prosecutors.

Abdeslam’s fingerprints were detected on a window in the building in the Forêt district of the Belgian capital. Authorities say it is likely that Abdeslam was one of the two suspects who escaped from the apartment, RTBF reports.

Other media outlets reported that Abdeslam’s DNA had also been found in the flat.

During Tuesday’s raid, a 35-year-old Algerian man, Mohamed Belkaid, who resided without papers in Belgium was killed by police.

An unnamed Brussels police source told RTÉ News that Belkaid “sacrificed himself” in order to allow Abdeslam time to escape, but this has not been confirmed.

Belkaid has been identified as a man sought by police for planning the attacks in Paris. He used the assumed name “Samir Bouzid”, RTBF said. Evidence emerged in December of “Bouzid” making a cash transfer from Brussels to a woman killed with other suspects in Paris five days after the attacks.


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