Europe’s most wanted man, Salah Abdeslam has been charged with ‘terrorist murder’, the Belgian prosecutor has announced.
The suspect has admitted to being in Paris on the night of November 13 when several coordinated terrorist attacks claimed the lives of 130 people.
According to his lawyer he is cooperating with police but will refuse extradition to France.
Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said that the suspect admitted he wanted to blow himself up at the Stade de France but then changed his mind. Molins said that a new European arrest warrant had been issued by France, effectively an extradition request by other means. He confirmed that Abdeslam’s removal from Belgium to France could happen within a matter of days or up to three months should the suspect appeal.
Full press conference on Salah Abdeslam’s arrest, from Paris prosecutor Francois Molins
Abdeslam was charged along with a second man detained alongside him on Friday. A third man detained at the same address named as Abid A was charged with being a member of a terrorist organisation. A woman was charged with aiding and abetting criminals but released and a second woman was released without charges.
A vital source
The first suspect to be taken alive, the information Abdeslam gives could provide vital insight into the ISIL terror group.
Security services will be looking for answers on ISIL’s plans and structures, Abdeslam’s contacts in Europe and Syria as well as his support networks and finances.
After four months on the run, the 26-year-old was finally captured during a raid on a flat in the Molenbeek area of Brussels on Friday.