Salah and Brahim Abdeslam, and Ahmad Dahmani had created fake Facebook accounts to communicate and begin organising their future terror attacks, according to information in L’Express confirmed on Tuesday on Twitter by Terrorism Analysis Centre Chief Jean-Charles Brisard. The “Pouchos Pouchos”, “Raphaël Schott” and “Rachid Bourriche” accounts were created between November 2014 and January 2015 from the same IP address, that of the Time Out cybercafé in Molenbeek.
Salah Abdeslam, the sole survivor of the commando that perpetrated the Paris terror attacks on 13 November 2015, took on the virtual identity of Pouchos Pouchos on 24 November 2014. He used it in a vain attempt to communicate with Abdelhamid and Younnes Abaaoud, both of whom were then in Syria. However, he was able to communicate successfully with Raphaël Schott, the alter ego of his brother Brahim. Their exchanges, whose content is unknown, were brief, lasting only five days and ending on 18 January, just a few days before Brahim left for Raqqa to receive training in handling explosives.
Both communicated with Dahmani, who used the pseudonym Rachid Bourriche. Now 28 years old, he is serving a 10-year prison term in Turkey. After leaving Belgium for Syria just after the Paris attacks, he was intercepted on 21 November 2015. He is suspected of acting as an intermediary between Turkish smugglers and members of the Jihadist commando.
According to L’Express, the three men used their Facebook accounts to communicate with a host of acquaintances in Belgium and Syria.