4 suspects in the investigation of the terrorist cell dismantled in Verviers were summoned to appear at the Council chamber in Brussels on Friday. They are: brothers Ismael and Souhaib El Abdi, arrested by French customs officers near the Italian border, Abdelmounaim Haddad, wanted in Spain but found in Belgium with an electronic bracelet, and Pakistani Mohamed Hamja Arshad Mamood Hajni, taken in for questioning in Brussels. After he was arrested the Pakistani suspect originally invoked his right to remain silent, but according to his attorney he is now collaborating with investigators. In fact the man is allegedly refuting the accusations against him. “Things are a lot more complex,” stated his attorney.
According to a reliable source, the man allegedly said he had been threatened by other suspects in the case and had been forced to help plan terrorist attacks.
As for Abdelmounaim Haddad, he insists he had nothing to do with planning terrorist acts, according to his attorney, Nathalie Gallant.
The El Abdi brothers also deny they are terrorists. Younger brother Souhaib admits to selling forged identity documents, according to Xavier Carrette, the 2 brothers’ attorney. “He allegedly heard that searches were taking place in his neighbourhood and that the police was looking for him in the evening of January 15, 2015. He quickly went to his brother’s home to ask him to help him escape as he has no car. Ismael agreed, nothing more. There is no trace of him (in the file relating to the case), whether resulting from police observation or phone tapping.”
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)