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"Public enemy number one" captured alive

"Public enemy number one" captured alive


Key suspect of terrorist attacks in Paris, Salah Abdeslam, on the run for more than four months, was captured Friday in the Brussels commune of Molenbeek and should soon be extradited to France.


Nicknamed "public enemy number one" after the attacks that killed 130 people on 13 November, Abdeslam Salah, 26, a French of Moroccan origin, was wounded in the leg and was hospitalized in the evening, according to the federal prosecution Belgian.

"I have a thought for the victims of the attacks (...) in Paris and Saint-Denis because Salah Abdeslam is directly linked to the preparation, organization and unfortunately the commission of such attacks," responded the President Francois Hollande, during a press conference with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.

Mr. Holland, who was in Brussels for an EU summit, said to expect "that the Belgian authorities will respond as favorably as possible, as quickly as possible" to an extradition request that is sure to be made by the French justice.

"It's normal (...) that Salah's extradition and that the French courts deal with the case," said the Belgian Minister of the Interior, Jan Jambon.

An accomplice, whose fingerprints had been found in one of the hideouts of commandos on November 13 in Auvelais (southern Belgium), was also arrested after being slightly wounded, said the prosecutor. He had used the last few months a fake Syrian passport, in the name of Monir Ahmed Alaaj, and a false Belgian identity card in the name of Amine Choukri.

In addition, three "family members who hosted" Abdeslam in Molenbeek were arrested.

Suspecting that it sheltered the fugitive, the police stormed Friday afternoon against a house in the rue des Quatre Vents in Molenbeek, town became famous after the attacks of Paris for hosting several suicide bombers.

Charles Michel was then hurriedly left the EU summit with Turkey.

By the end of the summit, Hollande joined him. This spectacular denouement showed that "all those who helped organized or facilitated" the attacks in Paris were "many more than what we had been able to think a moment," said the French president, announcing the meeting a Defence Council at the Elysee Saturday morning.

Salah Abdeslam, radicalized petty criminal who has never fought in Syria is believed to have had at least one key role of logistics in the attacks of 13 November, claimed by the Islamic State.

A few days before the attacks, he had rented several cars and housing in the Paris region for the commando.

On the evening of 13, probably it conveys suicide bombers from the Stade de France. It is geolocated in Paris, abandoning an explosive belt south of the capital, called to rescue two friends Brussels and three escapes police roadblocks on the way back to Brussels.

No certainty on its journey after November 14, when the accomplices deposited in the Brussels commune of Schaerbeek. According to press reports, there would have spent three weeks hiding in an apartment where investigators found his mark in December.

Friday "after the customary warnings, the assault was given by the police", described a local councilor of Molenbeek, who requested anonymity. A man "young, small to cap, fled (...) He was shot by police and taken by ambulance."

The hunt for Salah Abdeslam accelerated sharply this week after police flushed out, turning a routine search, three heavily armed men who were hiding in an apartment without water or electricity in the Brussels municipality of Forest, terraced Molenbeek.

These men fired again on police officers in riot and Kalashnikov rifle, slightly injuring four of them. One of them will be killed by a sniper, but his two accomplices managed to flee and were "actively pursued" according to prosecutors.

The police quickly discovered the "fingerprints" of Salah Abdeslam in the apartment. And the authorities will quickly realize that the shot man, Algerian Mohamed Belkaïd was "more than likely", according to prosecutors, a man wanted for logistical support it has given to the authors of Paris bombings under the false identity Samir Bouzid.

In the apartment, police found a particular flag of the organization Islamic State (EI), eleven chargers and many Kalashnikov ammunition.

It was under the false name of Samir Bouzid that the man killed was especially transferred 750 euros from Brussels to Hasna Aïtboulahcen, the cousin of one of the lieutenants of the attacks, the Belgian jihadist Abdelhamid Abaaoud. Abaaoud and cousin died on November 18 during the police assault against their hideout in Saint-Denis (north of Paris).

Salah Abdeslam has toured Europe tirelessly in September and October. It will thus be controlled with the false Samir Bouzid to the Austrian-Hungarian border September 9, 2015 and with the false Chokri Amine October 3 in Ulm, Germany.

A Soufiane Kayal, who had also presented a fake ID when checking the September 9, still short, as Abrini Mohamed (30 years), filmed on November 11 at a gas station on the highway between Paris and Brussels in the company of Salah Abdeslam.

A major operation to try to apprehend Salah Abdeslam was mounted Molenbeek three days after the attacks in Paris.

It is in this Brussels commune with large immigrant populations that several members of the commandos who brought death to Paris grew - as Abaaoud and Abdeslam brothers childhood friends - or stayed.

Salah's brother, Brahim, is part of the trio that has bloodied several Parisian terraces on 13 November. It was then detonated in front of a brewery. Its the family buried Thursday in the Muslim section of a cemetery north of Brussels.

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He graduated from the graduate school of the University of Krakow, he studied international law and economics at the Sorbonne. It works leading analyst in a major publication that deals with the analysis of the political situation in the various countries of the world. Professionally and interesting talks about the intricacies of international relations.