Belgium transfers man who picked up Salah Abdeslam after Paris attacks

first_imgOne of the men who drove terror suspect Salah Abdeslam to Brussels on the night of the Paris attacks has been handed over to French authorities, Belgian prosecutors said Thursday.Hamza Attou was transferred on Wednesday “in compliance with the European arrest warrant that was issued by France against him,” prosecutors said in a statement.The Paris prosecutor said Thursday that Attou, a 22-year-old Belgian national, had been charged in France, AFP reported. Similar requests from France were approved by Belgium earlier this month for Mohamed Bakkali and Mohamed Abrini, the latter the “man in the hat” who fled the Brussels airport bombing and is also suspected of involvement in the Paris attacks, though prosecutors have not yet issued notification of Abrini’s transfer. Also On POLITICO Belgium approves terror suspects’ transfer to France By Cynthia Kroet Hollande: Police officer and wife slaying ‘indisputably a terrorist act’ By Nicholas Vinocur Terror suspect Mohamed Abrini a British informant: report By Cynthia Kroet Behind the hunt for Europe’s most wanted man By Giulia Paravicini and Tara Palmeri Police ‘15 minutes late’ to catch Salah Abdeslam By Laurens Cerulus Attou told investigators how he and another man, Mohammed Amri, picked up Abdeslam in Paris on the night of November 13, following the terror attacks which killed 130 people, and drove him to Brussels, AFP reported.Attou said they did not know of Abdeslam’s involvement in the attacks until they met him in Paris, where he told them that his suicide belt had failed to detonate.They drove him back to Brussels, where many of the Paris attackers had lived, narrowly avoiding detection at a police checkpoint on the Belgian border because Abdeslam’s ID only made it into the police database 15 minutes later.They bought Abdeslam new clothes and paid for a haircut before handing him over to another man who led him to a safe house in Brussels’ Schaarbeek neighborhood.Amri and Attou were arrested on November 14 in the suburb of Molenbeek in the Belgian capital.Abdeslam was arrested in Molenbeek on March 18, four days before the Brussels terror attacks, and transferred to France in late April.last_img read more