News / Europe

    Paris Attacks Suspect Captured Alive in Belgian Raid

    Paris Attacks Suspect Captured Alive in Belgian Raidi
    X
    March 18, 2016 8:51 PM
    The top suspect linked to the November 13 terror attacks in France has been arrested in Belgium, a Belgian minister said Salah Abdeslam was arrested by Belgian police during a raid Friday in the Molenbeek area of Brussels.
    WATCH: Dramatic video footage of Salah Abdeslam's capture in Brussels.
    VOA News

    The top suspect linked to the November 13 terror attacks in France has been arrested in Belgium, a Belgian minister said

    Salah Abdeslam was arrested by Belgian police during a raid Friday in the Molenbeek area of Brussels. Authorities said Abdeslam has a leg injury and has been transferred to a hospital.

    Belgian immigration minister Theo Francken confirmed the arrest in a tweet that said, "We got him."

    Footage aired on Belgian TV showed police dragging a man in white into a police car. A government spokesman said another man, identified as Monir Ahmed Alaaj, with the alias Amine Choukri, was also injured during the shootout and hospitalized.

    Belgian authorities found the fugitive's fingerprints in an apartment raided earlier this week in another Brussels neighborhood.

    A spokesman for the Belgian prosecutors office said police in Germany had questioned Abdeslam and Choukri in October. They took Choukri’s fingerprints, which later were found in a Belgian safe house used by the terrorists. Police later found a fake Syrian passport and fake Belgian identity card bearing the man’s two different names.

    Three other people were arrested during Friday’s raid; prosecutors identified them as members of a family that had hidden Abdeslam.

    WATCH: Josh Earnest statement to reporters

    White House Spokesman Josh Earnesti
    X
    VOA News
    March 18, 2016 6:20 PM
    White House Spokesman Josh Earnest discusses the capture Friday by Belgian authorities of the top suspect linked to the November 14 terror attacks in France.

    The arrests ended a four-month manhunt.  

    Abdeslam had been the chief target in an intense hunt for suspects and associates of the militants who carried out the November 13th terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. His older brother, Brahim, was among the suicide bombers who killed themselves during the rampage.

    It was unclear whether French-Moroccan Abdelslam had remained in Brussels since November.

    Since mid-November, 11 people have been arrested and charged in Belgium in connection with the killings. Eight are still in detention. The attacks were prepared and coordinated, in part, in Brussels.

    French and Belgian leaders praised the cooperation between the two countries leading to the arrests, but warned that the terrorist threat remained. French President Francois Hollande said his country would issue an extradition request for Abdeslam.

    Hollande said the investigation revealed that many more people were involved in the attacks than authorities originally believed, in a network that spanned several countries.

    This combination of photos shows Abdelhamid Abaaoud, suspected mastermind of the November 13, 2015, Paris attacks, on the left, and suspect Salah Abdeslam, who remains at large. (2nd R),
    This combination of photos shows Abdelhamid Abaaoud, suspected mastermind of the November 13, 2015, Paris attacks, on the left, and suspect Salah Abdeslam, who remains at large. (2nd R),

    Paris Assailants, Suspects Where Are They Now?

    Status: Captured

    Name: Salah Abdeslam
    Background: French national born in Belgium
    Investigation: Considered eighth attacker; believed to be driver of car outside the Bataclan

    Status: Dead

    Name: Abdelhamid Abaaoud
    Background: Belgian of Moroccan origin
    Investigation: Ringleader of Paris attacks

    Name: Ibrahim Abdeslam
    Background: French citizen
    Investigation: Suicide bomber at cafe on Boulevard Voltaire; brother of Salah Abdeslam

    Name: Samy Amimour
    Background: Born in Paris
    Investigation: One of three suicide bombers at Bataclan concert hall

    Name: Bilal Hadfi
    Status: Dead
    Background: Nationality unknown, living in Belgium prior to attacks
    Investigation: One of three suicide bombers at soccer stadium

    Name: Ismael Omar Mostefai
    Background: Chartres, France
    Investigation: Suicide bomber at Bataclan concert hall

    Name: Ahmad al Muhammad (falsified name)
    Background: Unknown; emergency passport said he was from Syria
    Investigation: Suicide bomber at soccer stadium; emergency passport found on his body

    Name: Unknown
    Background: Unknown
    Investigation: Suicide bomber at soccer stadium; carried falsified Turkish passport

    Name: Unknown
    Background: Unknown
    Investigation: Suicide bomber at Bataclan concert hall; has not yet been identified

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