Paris Attack Suspect Escaped Gun Battle, Raid on Brussels Flat (UPDATED)
Reports from overseas media are saying that investigators have found evidence suggesting that Salah Abdeslam might still be in Belgium after evading a raid on a flat held by ISIS sympathizers.
Abdeslam became one of Europe’s most wanted men after his connection was confirmed to the terror attacks that killed 130 people and devastated France back in November. He was previously thought to have escaped to Syria after evading international manhunts, but Belgian public broadcaster RTBF says that his fingerprints and DNA evidence were recovered from a new crime scene earlier this week.
The Independent reports that police had a shootout at a flat in Brussels’ Forest district that left one Islamist fighter dead and four officers wounded. Two people were known to have fled the scene in the chaos, and prosecutors say that it is “more than likely” that Abdeslam was one of them.
“We can confirm that fingerprints of Salah Abdeslam were found in the apartment in Forest,” said Eric Van Der Sypt, spokesman for Belgian federal prosecutors. “It is currently not possible to give any additional information to avoid causing any damage to the investigation.”
UPDATE – 1:09 P.M. EST Abdeslam was cornered today in the Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek. He and his companions were reportedly wounded in a battle with the police, but Abdeslam was confirmed to have been taken alive.
[image via screengrab]
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