View Full Version : Suspect in Paris attacks wounded, captured in Brussels shootout

The Bobster
03-18-2016, 11:24 AM

Suspect in Paris attacks wounded, captured in Brussels shootout
By Yaron Steinbuch
March 18, 2016 | 11:11am | Updated

Police at the scene of the anti-terror raid in Brussels. Photo: Reuters

Salah Abdeslam, the most-wanted fugitive from the deadly attacks on Paris in November, has been captured during a police raid in Brussels on Friday, officials said.

Abdeslam, 26, who has been on the run since the Nov. 13 attacks that killed 130 people, was injured in the raid in the Molenbeek district, Belgian newspaper Derniere Heure reported.

Salah Abdeslam
Photo: AP

Other media reported two people were arrested, though French President Francois Hollande said there was no confirmation of the detention of Abdeslam, Reuters reported.

TV images showed masked black-clad security forces guarding a street and reporters at the scene described white smoke rising from a rooftop.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel was seen quickly leaving an EU summit in Brussels, talking on his cell phone as he got into his heavily guarded car.

Belgian broadcaster RTBF reported earlier that Abdeslam was probably one of two people who evaded police during a Tuesday raid of an apartment in the Forest district of Brussels.

Abdeslam’s fingerprints were found after the Tuesday raid, authorities said earlier Friday.

An Algerian man killed in the Tuesday raid was likely one of the people French and Belgian authorities have been seeking in connection with the attacks in Paris, according to the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office.

Federal officials later said the man killed was Mohamed Belkaid, who went under the name of Samir Bouzid, Reuters reported.

RTBF said Abdeslam, whose older brother, Brahim, blew himself up in Paris, was “more than likely” one of two men who escaped Tuesday before a sniper shot dead 35-year-old Belkaid as he aimed a Kalashnikov.

Abdeslma, a Brussels-born French national who had lived in Molenbeek before the Paris attacks, is the prime suspect in the rampage by Islamic State militants.

A man named Samir Bouzid has been sought since December when authorities released surveillance images of him wiring cash from Brussels two days after the Paris attacks to a woman who was later killed in a shootout with police in the Paris suburb of St. Denis.

She was a cousin of Abdelhamid Abbaoud, a Belgian who had fought in Syria and is suspected of being a prime organizer of the Paris attacks. Both died in the apartment in St. Denis on Nov. 18.

Investigators think Abdeslam may have been the driver of a car that dropped off three suicide bombers near the Stade de France, one of the targeted sites near Paris.

Belgian authorities have been holding 10 people suspected of involvement with him, but there had been no reported sightings of Abdeslam, who was driven back to Brussels from Paris hours after the attack, before Friday’s arrest.

Investigators believe much of the preparation for the bombing and shooting rampage in Paris was conducted in Brussels by young French and Belgian nationals, some of whom fought in Syria for Islamic State.