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Source: Paris terror suspect Salah Abdeslam captured

Published On : 18 Mar 2016   |  Reported By : Courtesy: CNN   |  Pic On: photo credit: CNN


Paris terror attack suspect Salah Abdeslam was captured alive Friday, a Belgian counter-terrorism source told CNN.

Belgium's state broadcaster reported that the Belgian-born French citizen was injured in a shootout that ended with his capture. The Belgian counter-terrorism source said two people were wounded.

"We have him," tweeted Theo Francken, Belgium's state secretary for asylum policy and migration.

Molenbeek, the impoverished Brussels suburb where Friday's raid took place, has a reputation as a hotbed for jihadism. Several members of its large, predominantly Muslim population -- many of whom are first-, second- and third-generation immigrants from North Africa -- have been linked to terror plots and attacks.

Last fall, Belgian Justice Minister Koen Geens cited Molenbeek as a place where more needs to be done to address what he called Belgium's "foreign fighter problem."

And in the immediate aftermath of the Paris attacks that left 130 dead, authorities conducted raids there and detained numerous individuals. One of them was Mohammed Abdeslam, the brother of the wanted man captured Friday, who was taken into custody and later released.

Another brother, Ibrahim Abdeslam, is believed to have been the suicide bomber who detonated explosives outside a cafe on Paris' Boulevard Voltaire.

1 killed in Tuesday raid
Earlier Friday, the Belgian federal prosecutor's office revealed that the 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam's fingerprints and DNA were found in a Brussels apartment raided two days earlier. One person was killed and two people escaped that operation, according to authorities.

The man killed by a special forces sniper was Mohamed Belkaid, an Algerian who used the name Samir Bouzid, and who is believed to have directed the November 13 Paris attackers via calls from Belgium, according to the prosecutor's office.

Belkaid is believed to have helped Abdeslam travel prior to the attacks and transferred money to a female cousin of Paris ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud following the attack, the Belgian senior counter-terrorism official told CNN in January.

Authorities believe Abdeslam was using the apartment as a hideout following the Paris attacks, according to the Belgian counter-terrorism official.







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