Pros­e­cu­tors re­lease newdetails on Ab­deslam

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By John- Thor Dahlburg

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.

Wijngaert, The As­so­ci­ated Press

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

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