Suspected Paris Attacks Terrorist Salah Abdeslam Captured In Belgium
The last time Salah Abdeslam was seen by authorities was the night of the Paris attacks, as he and two friends passed through a border checkpoint en-route to Belgium
Salah Abdeslam, one of the suspects in last year’s deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, was reportedly captured in Mollenbeek, Belgium on Friday during a police raid in the Brussels suburb known for its militant Islamist activity. He is said to be injured but alive and in police custody along with two other suspects.
Earlier this week, Belgian authorities discovered Abdeslam’s fingerprints and DNA at an apartment in the Belgian capital, after suspected ISIS sympathizers engaged in a shootout with police. One of the men in the apartment was reportedly killed by a sniper, while two others escaped as police moved in. It’s unclear whether one of those suspects was Abdeslam.
— HLN.BE (@HLN_BE) March 18, 2016
“We’ve got him” tweeted Theo Francken, the Belgian minister for asylum and migration.
Abdeslam was last seen hours after the deadly November attacks, in which gunmen fired on concert goers, diners and soccer fans in coordinated shooting attacks across the city. Authorities say he called on two friends from Brussels to pick him up near the scene of one of the attacks and help him escape. He is said to have chickened out of the attack, walking around the city for seven hours after the shootings, an indication to authorities that he changed his mind at the last minute, and wasn’t meant to have an exit strategy to leave the city.
Police let Abdeslam and his companions drive on through a checkpoint because his alleged involvement in the attacks was not then known. He hadn’t been sighted since. Shortly after the attack there were theories that Abdeslam was hiding out in Mollenbeek, his hometown in Brussels.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.