Prosecutors release newdetails on Abdeslam
brussels » Belgian prosecutors on Friday revealed new details about the biggestmystery in the Paris attacks: What happened to fugitive Salah Abdeslam after he ditched his car and explosive vest?
After slipping through a police dragnet, they said, he apparently hid out in the same Brussels apartment that served as the killers’ bomb factory.
“We found material to make explosives. We found traces of explosives, andwe found three belts. So you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to make the right deduction,” Belgian federal prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt told The Associated Press.
Also discovered during a Dec. 10 police search of the third- floor residence on the RueHenri Berge: one of 26year- old Abdeslam’s fingerprints, the federal prosecutor’s office announced in a statement.
A Brussels native whose older brother, Brahim, was one of the Paris suicide bombers, Abdeslam is believed to have played a key logistical role in the Nov. 13 carnage inwhich 130 people lost their lives. Islamic State extremists have claimed responsibility for the mass killings.
The morning of Nov. 14, Abdeslam called two friends in Brussels to come fetch him.
A French gendarme stopped the three men in their car near the border but released them. Authorities now believe Abdeslam arrived later that same day at the apartment in the Schaerbeek district of the Belgian capital, eventually was picked up by someone else, “andwe lost him,” Van der Sypt said.
It’s not yet clear when Abdeslam was most recently in the apartment, he said.
Now the target of an international manhunt, Abdeslam’s whereabouts remain unknown. “If we knew where he was, we’d catch him,” said Van der Sypt. Earlier unconfirmed reports said he was spotted two days after the Paris attacks in Liege in eastern Belgium, heading toward Germany.
Men walk the Schaerbeek neighborhood of Brussels on Friday. Officials said an apartment in the area likely was used to make bombs for the Paris attacks and served as a hideout. Geert Vanden