Paris attacks terrorist to stand trial for links to Brussels attacks

Paris attacks terrorist to stand trial for links to Brussels attacks
Salah Abdeslam. Credit: Belga

Salah Abdeslam, suspected of being the last survivor of the group that carried out the 2015 Paris attacks is set to stand trial over his suspected links to the attackers behind the 2016 Brussels bombings, according to reports on Tuesday.

Prosecutors said the Belgian-born French national is "suspected of participating in the activities of a terrorist group in the context of the attacks in Zaventem and Maalbeek," according to reports in Belgian media.

Abdeslam was arrested by Belgian police for his involvement in the Paris attacks on March 18, 2016 — four days before the Brussels attacks.

At the time of his arrest, there was insufficient evidence to link him to the Brussels attacks, in which 32 people, not counting the suicide-bombers, were killed.

He will now stand trial after prosecutors established he maintained closed links with another main suspect of the Brussels attacks, Sofien Ayari.

Ayari is suspected of being linked to both terrorist attacks, according to BX1, and was arrested alongside Abdeslam in 2018, and both were later convicted for a shootout during their arrest.

Currently being held in a high-security prison in France, Abdeslam's trial is set to take place in 2020 or 2021 in NATO's Evere headquarters.

According to reports, Abdeslam has never made any mention of his possible involvement in the Brussels attacks, and he has remained completely silent during his past appearances in court.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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