Paris attacks key suspect Abrini arrested in Brussels

Published April 8th, 2016 - 05:54 GMT
An undated file photo taken on November 24, 2015 by Belgian federal police shows Mohamed Abrini (30) who was seen on November 11 at a gas station in Ressons on the highway heading to Paris.  Paris attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini was arrested on April 8, 2016.  (AFP/STR/Belgian Police)
An undated file photo taken on November 24, 2015 by Belgian federal police shows Mohamed Abrini (30) who was seen on November 11 at a gas station in Ressons on the highway heading to Paris. Paris attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini was arrested on April 8, 2016. (AFP/STR/Belgian Police)

Reports from Belgium say Mohamed Abrini, wanted over November’s terror attacks in Paris, has been arrested.

The information comes from Belgian public broadcasters VRT and RTBF, quoting unidentified sources, and an anonymous police source cited by AFP.

The Federal Prosecutor says several arrests have been made relating to the Brussels attacks, without giving further details.

The 31-year-old has been on Europe’s most wanted list since being identified on CCTV video in a car with Salah Abdeslam two days before the Paris attacks in November.

He had been seen with the Abdeslam brothers several times in the days preceding the attacks and is thought to have made several journeys between Paris and Brussels, helping with the logistics of the operation.

Abdeslam was arrested in Brussels three weeks ago, four days before suicide bombers attacked the city’s airport and metro. The attacks were claimed by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

VRT and RTBF also say Abrini is probably the “man in the hat” seen with the Brussels airport bombers. Neither his arrest nor this last piece of information have been confirmed.

The man photographed wearing glasses and a hat at the airport left shortly after the twin suicide bombing and was tracked on CCTV for several miles into the city centre. A third bomb was found at the airport.

His identity has been difficult to prove, and at least one previous claim turned out to be wrong.


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