News / Europe

    Paris Terror Suspect Fingerprint Found in Belgian Apartment

    A general view shows the Appart'City hotel in Alfortville, near Paris, France, Nov. 17, 2015 where two rooms were rented by Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam, actively wanted in France and Belgium, according to sources close to the investigation.
    A general view shows the Appart'City hotel in Alfortville, near Paris, France, Nov. 17, 2015 where two rooms were rented by Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam, actively wanted in France and Belgium, according to sources close to the investigation.
    Lisa Bryant

    Belgian police revealed Friday they found the fingerprint of a fugitive suspect linked to the November 13 Paris terror attacks along with suicide belts and explosives during the search of a Brussels apartment.

    Federal prosecutors in Belgium said police discovered the items during  December 2015 raid. Salah Abdeslam, whose fingerprint was found inside the apartment is believed to have played a key logistical role in the November attacks. His brother, Brahim, was among the suicide bombers who died in the shooting and bombing attacks around Paris that killed and injured nearly 500 people.

    Belgian police said they found what they believe to be three handmade suicide belts, along with traces of TATP, a highly volatile material that was packed into the suicide vests of the Paris bombers.

    A spokesman for the prosecutor's office said it was not clear when Abdeslam had visited the apartment and did not explain why officials waited a month to announce the discovery.

    Salah Abdeslam, a Belgian national French police are searching for in connection with Paris terror attacks. (Police Nationale Handout Photo)
    Salah Abdeslam, a Belgian national French police are searching for in connection with Paris terror attacks. (Police Nationale Handout Photo)

    In a statement, the prosecutor's office said the apartment, which was searched December 10, had been rented under a false identity and may have been used by one of 10 people arrested in Belgium in connection with the Paris attacks. Prosecutors say Abdeslam may have hidden inside the apartment after the attacks, or the flat may have been used as a place to make explosive devices.

    Terrorism analyst Claude Moniquet told French TV that the findings confirmed what experts have concluded; that the Islamist attacks were prepared and planned in Brussels, although they were likely organized in Syria. The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for them.

    Investigators lost track of the Brussels-born Abdeslam after he crossed the French border into Belgium shortly after the attacks. Two friends in the car that dropped him off in Brussels have been arrested.

    Sites of the November attacks in Paris
    Sites of the November attacks in Paris

    Expert Moniquet says Abdeslam could be in Syria - but he could also be hiding with colleagues somewhere in Europe, planning another attack.

    The findings were announced as France marks the first anniversary of the first set of attacks here - targeting the Charlie Hebdo weekly and a Kosher supermarket. On Thursday, police shot dead a man trying to attack a Paris police station who carried a note with the Islamic State flag. 

    During a speech Thursday marking the anniversary, French President Francois Hollande announced that police officers will now be allowed to keep their weapons off duty, and he pledged to boost armed security forces by 5,000 officers.

    Marissa Melton contributed to this story in Washington.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Philip Smeeton
    January 08, 2016 11:44 AM
    We that oppose Islam and indiscriminate immigration are patriotic nationalists that believe that our homeland is worth defending against an invasion of criminals and terrorists.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora