Belgium Charges Two More Suspects in Probe of Paris Attacks

  • One suspect was held trying to board plane heading for Morocco
  • Latest arrests take number of jailed suspects to 8 in Belgium

Belgian authorities charged two more suspects with involvement in the terror attacks that struck Paris on Nov. 13, taking the number of jailed presumed terrorists in the Belgian probe to eight.

The seventh suspect, identified as 1995-born French national Samir Z., was held in the early hours of Nov. 29 at Brussels Airport, where he was trying to board a plane heading for Morocco, the federal prosecutor’s office said Thursday in a statement. Police forces detained the eighth suspect, identified as 1987-born Belgian national Pierre N., during a search of his home the same day.

Prosecutors said both suspects are from Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, the Belgian capital borough that was the scene of multiple police raids in the past weeks and home to at least three jihadists behind the Paris assault. At least three other jailed suspects in the Belgian terror probe are also from Molenbeek and under suspicion of having assisted Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam elude a manhunt following his return to Belgium on Nov. 14. Abdeslam remains a fugitive, as does Mohamed Abrini, who was caught by surveillance cameras in the presence of Abdeslam in a gas station on the French A1 highway before the attacks.

Samir Z. “is under suspicion of having attempted to leave for Syria at least twice in 2015,” prosecutors said. “He is considered to be part of the entourage of Bilal Hadfi.”

Hadfi is a 20-year-old French national from the Brussels borough of Neder-over-Heembeek who blew himself up outside the Stade de France on Nov. 13.

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