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    Thalys: armed suspect allegedly in and around Brussels

    ©Belga
    ©Belga

    According to the daily La Dernière Heure on Wednesday, an armed Ayoub El Khazzani spent time travelling in and around Brussels on Friday before buying a ticket and catching the Amsterdam-Paris Thalys at the Gare du Midi train station. Various other media also add that the suspect of the foiled terrorist attack on the Thalys train allegedly stayed with his sister in the weeks leading up to the attack. The federal prosecutor’s office has declined to comment.

    La Dernière Heure, La Capitale and Mediahuis press mention several people in the neighborhood who allegedly noticed Ayoub El Khazzani in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, where although he was a regular at the mosque, he showed no signs of radicalisation. Witnesses also refer to a trip to Syria Ayoub El Khazzani allegedly went on but from which he quickly returned, disgusted by the barbarity he witnessed there.

    La Dernière Heure also states that Ayoub El Khazzani may not simply have stayed with his sister on Molenbeek’s Chaussée de Gand, since he allegedly left his sister’s place last Friday carrying a bag containing the Kalashnikov, nine chargers, an automatic gun and a craft knife, all of which were found in his possession on the Thalys train.

    It is likely he got on the underground at Ossegem station, got off at Clemenceau and went on from there to the Gare du Midi Station where he took the train. “The federal prosecutor neither confirms nor denies this information,” said Eric Van der Sypt, spokesman for the federal prosecutor. “No further comment will be made on this investigation,” added the spokesman.

    Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)