The anti-terror unit of the Federal Judicial Police was not able to investigate the brothers Salah and Brahim Abdeslam because of lack of resources. As already reported by media, Belgian police had information in mid-2014 that the two brothers planned to carry out a terrorist attack.
Brahim Abdeslam was one of the suicide bombers in the terror attack in Paris last November. His brother Salah fled and was captured in Brussels four days before the terror attacks in Brussels.
Yesterday (16 May), RTBF revealed that it has seen a document classified as confidential on the case. The police had the necessary information to make the link between the alleged leader of the terrorist cell in Verviers, Abdelhamid Abaooud, and Salah Abdeslam. Abaooud was killed in a police raid in Paris.
After the anti-terror raid in Verviers in January 2015, Belgian police started looking for accomplices of the terrorist cell. In the following days, an informant came to the Molenbeek local police with the names of the Abdeslam brothers and additional information.
The main piece of information was the direct link between Abaaoud and Salah Abdeslam in the days that preceded the operation in Verviers.
Police then issued a search warrant for the two brothers. Brahim was arrested while Salah went to the police voluntarily. He claimed that he hadn’t been in contact with Abaaoud for three years.
The files were then passed into the hands of the anti-terror unit of the federal police. Because of lack resources, the federal police decided to “freeze” the investigation.
The files remained pending for reassignment for four months until a judge in June 2015 decided to classify them as “without follow-up”, according to RTBF.