Paris terror suspect Salah Abdeslam charged with terrorist murder – CNN
It’s not known what will happen next with Alaaj. But Abdeslam will very likely be brought back to France, where the November 13 attacks occurred.
French officials praised the police action that led to Abdeslam’s capture. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called it “an important blow to the terrorist organization Daesh in Europe,” using another moniker for ISIS, which has claimed it was responsible for the Paris attacks.
“This is not the end of the fight that we are leading relentlessly against terrorism,” Cazeneuve said. “We need to maintain our vigilance to be ahead of the threat.”
Suspect opposes extradition to France
Three relatives who helped hide Abdeslam were detained as well, according to Van der Sypt from the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office.
French President Francois Hollande said Paris prosecutors will seek the extradition of Abdeslam — a Belgian-born French citizen — to France for trial.
“I know the Belgian authorities will respond quickly and favorably to our request for extradition,” Hollande said.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel signaled Saturday that is just his intention.
He told reporters that authorities in his country will do their best to arrange for Abdeslam’s extradition “as soon as possible.”
The 26-year-old suspect doesn’t want to leave Belgium.
His lawyer Sven Mary told reporters Saturday in Brussels that Abdeslam will oppose extradition to France but is cooperating with Belgian authorities, adding that he’s set to undergo a second round of questioning later in the day.
The anti-terror operation Friday came after Salah Abdeslam’s fingerprints and DNA were found in a Brussels apartment raided three days earlier, authorities said.
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. He is believed to have directed the Paris attackers via calls from Belgium.
Belkaid helped Abdeslam travel prior to the attacks, a Belgian senior counter-terrorism official told CNN in January.
Authorities believe he was using the apartment as a hideout following the Paris attacks, according to the official.
His possible escape spurred an intense manhunt in a country on guard after last fall’s attacks in the French capital.
Police continued to conduct operations in Molenbeek into Saturday morning.
Molenbeek has ‘foreign fighter problem’
The impoverished Brussels suburb of Molenbeek has a reputation as a hotbed for jihadism.
Members of its large, predominantly Muslim population — many of them immigrants from North Africa — have been linked to terror plots and attacks.
Last fall, Belgian Justice Minister Koen Geens said more needs to be done to address what he called Belgium’s “foreign fighter problem” in the suburb.
In the immediate aftermath of the Paris attacks, authorities detained numerous people there.