Belgium Charges Paris Terror Suspect Over Shootout With Police

  • Abdeslam charged with attempted murder when cornered March 15
  • Belgium caught Abdeslam 3 days later, before Brussels bombings

Belgian prosecutors charged Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in the Paris terrorist attacks in November, with attempting to murder policemen in a shootout a week before last month’s bombings in Brussels.

Abdeslam, who faces extradition to France over his role in the Paris attacks, escaped after the March 15 exchange of gunfire with police in the Forest borough of Brussels and was arrested three days later.

“Abdeslam was charged today with attempted murder in the investigation into the shootout in Forest during which several police officers were wounded,” the federal prosecutor said in a statement Thursday.

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Abdeslam, 26, a Belgian-born French citizen, stands accused of assisting the Paris attackers by renting cars and hotel rooms. While connected with the Brussels suspects, he has not been charged in that case.

Prosecutors also announced the one-month extension of the detention of Mehdi Nemmouche, the suspect in the May 2014 murders at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, and of a man identified as Abid A., a presumed accomplice of Abdeslam.

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