Intelligence sources investigating the Paris and Brussels terrorist attacks believe they have identified Abou Ahmad, suspected of organising the two operations.
They now say he is Oussama Ahmad Atar, known for years by the Belgian authorities, and a distant cousin of two of the Brussels bombers, who blew themselves up at Zaventem airport and Maelbeek station in March 2016.
His link to the Paris attacks was less clear, but he is now believed to have recruited the
two men who blew themselves up near the Stade de France on November 13th, 2015.
A Belgian-Moroccan based in Syria and thought to be currently in Raqqa, he is accused of recruiting a number of terrorists for operations in Europe.
He first travelled to Syria in 2002, returning in 2004 and then crossing the Iraqi border, where he was arrested in 2005, and sentenced to 10 years in jail, part of which was spent in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison. Human rights groups campaigned for his release, and he was freed in 2012 on health grounds. But the Belgian secret service say seven years in prison left him radicalised.
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