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Belgians and French together. Federal prosecutor provides update on investigation

credit: federal police
credit: federal police

(B2) Contrary to certain (probably uninformed) opinions of experts who saw rivalries between Belgians and French, the police of the two countries (like the intelligence services) very quickly strengthened their cooperation after the attacks on Friday (13 november). “ From the night and the day following the attacks in Paris, the federal prosecutor's office received 4 urgent requests for mutual legal assistance from the Paris prosecutor's office » specifies today a press release from the (Belgian) Federal Prosecutor's Office. “ A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been created in order to allow easy and intensive police and judicial collaboration, on both sides of the Belgian and French borders. » At the same time, the federal prosecutor's office opened its own investigation and an investigating judge specializing in terrorism matters was contacted. In total, today 5 people were placed in pre-trial detention this week as part of the investigation carried out in Belgium since the attacks in Paris ».

The press release published just now by the Federal Prosecutor's Office is interesting because it specifies some elements about the ongoing investigation.

Two days before the Paris attacks, on November 11 around 19 p.m., Salah Abdeslam was filmed in the Ressons service station (on the A1 towards Paris), in the company of a person identified as Mohamed Abrini, born on December 27, 1984. The latter was driving the Renault Clio which will be used to carry out the attacks two days later. The investigating judge issued an international and European arrest warrant. A call for witnesses was issued by the police (see here).

Three vehicles used in the attack. During the attacks in Paris, the perpetrators used 3 vehicles with Belgian license plates - VW Polo, Seat Leon and Renault Clio - which had been rented on November 9 by Brahim Abdeslam (who died in the attacks), and by his brother Salah Abdeslam, two French nationals residing in Molenbeek.

The escape from Paris – first car. Salah Abdeslam was checked in Cambrai, a few hours after the incident, around 9:10 a.m., on the motorway towards Brussels. He was in a VW Golf vehicle with two other people. The investigation carried out in Belgium on this vehicle led to the arrest on Sunday November 15 of Mohammed Amri, owner of the VW Golf and Hamza Attou, the passenger. Arrested, they are both charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist group and terrorist assassinations. And their continued detention was confirmed by the Brussels council chamber on November 20.

The escape of Salah Abdeslam – 2nd car. S. Abdeslam then appears to have been taken in another vehicle driven by another person. The follow-up to the investigation made it possible to go back to Ali O., a 31-year-old French national residing in Molenbeek. He was arrested on Sunday evening, November 22, placed under an arrest warrant on November 23 and charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist group and terrorist assassinations. He will appear on Friday November 27 before the Brussels council chamber for the possible confirmation of his continued detention.

hand guns. The instruction also allowed the arrest of the named Lazez A., a 39-year-old Moroccan national residing in Jette. Two handguns were found in his vehicle along with traces of blood. Placed under an arrest warrant on November 20 by the investigating magistrate and charged with participation in the activities of a terrorist group and terrorist assassinations, he will appear tomorrow morning before the Brussels council chamber for the possible confirmation of his maintenance. in prison.

(NGV)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).