French name Paris at­tacks plot­ter

The Myanmar Times - - World -

FRENCH in­ves­ti­ga­tors have iden­ti­fied a Moroc­can-Bel­gian ji­hadist based in Syria as a key plot­ter of at­tacks in Paris and Brus­sels, sources said, an­nounc­ing a break­through in their mul­ti­coun­try probe.

Ous­sama Atar, a 32-year-old be­lieved to be a mem­ber of the Is­lamic State group, was al­ready a sus­pect in the March 22 at­tacks on Brus­sels but has now been linked to the Novem­ber 13 atrocities in Paris last year.

Po­lice have long sus­pected that the as­sault on the French cap­i­tal, in which teams of ji­hadists killed 130 peo­ple, was co­or­di­nated by one or sev­eral peo­ple from Syria, but have never pre­vi­ously named any­one.

Mr Atar, be­lieved to go by the pseu­do­nym “Abou Ah­mad” in Syria, has been on the radar of Euro­pean se­cu­rity forces for more than a decade.

After be­ing ar­rested in Iraq in 2004, he spent time in var­i­ous jails in­clud­ing the no­to­ri­ous Abu Ghraib prison used by American forces.

After be­ing re­leased, in 2012 he re­turned to Bel­gium, whose in­tel­li­gence and po­lice forces have faced fierce crit­i­cism about the de­vel­op­ment of ji­hadist net­works in Brus­sels.

His name resur­faced pub­licly again fol­low­ing sui­cide bomb­ings of Brus­sels’ air­port and metro sys­tem in March which left 32 peo­ple dead.

He is a cousin of two of the at­tack­ers, the El Bakraoui broth­ers Khalid and Ibrahim, who took up the cause of Is­lamic State after years of vi­o­lent crime in Brus­sels.

He also has fam­ily ties to Moustapha and Jawad Ben­hat­tal, who were ar­rested on June 18 on sus­pi­cion of plan­ning an at­tack in Bel­gium dur­ing a screen­ing of a Euro 2016 foot­ball match, Bel­gian me­dia had reported.

French in­ves­ti­ga­tors were able to link him to the Paris at­tacks fol­low­ing the ar­rests of two sus­pected ex­trem­ists, an Al­ge­rian and a Pak­istani, de­tained in Austria last year. –

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.