The GSM belonging to Brahim Abdeslam (Salah Abdeslam’s late brother) was last week found in a Molenbeek-Saint-Jean police station. He was one of the terrorists who blew himself up during the Paris attacks of November 13th, 2015. This was indicated on Tuesday by the Brussels-West police zone, confirming information which had appeared in La Dernière Heure.
The device had been missing for several months but its content had, however, already been used before being found.
The GSM had already been seized in February 2015 by the local police zone, as part of an investigation into drug trafficking.
When, some months later, Brahim Abdeslam was suspected of wanting to go to Syria, the federal judicial police (FJP) requested that their colleagues from the Brussels-West police zone recover the device. However, it had, in fact, disappeared.
Its content having been copied before the mysterious disappearance, the FJP were however able to consult the data contained in the GSM. It was apparent from the device that the terrorist already had, in February 2015, connections with people who would later collaborate in the Paris and Brussels attacks.
After the November 13th attacks, Committee P (the external police monitoring body) had accused the FJP of losing the device.
This claim was contradicted last April, when it came to light in the investigation that the trail had been lost somewhere in a Molenbeek police station.
It was in the very same police station that the telephone was discovered last Wednesday.
“It is correct that the device was uncovered under a pile of files,” Johan Berckmans, the Police Commissioner, and spokesman for the Brussels-West police zone confided.
He stated that an internal audit team is now looking into both how the GSM went missing and the circumstances in which it came to be found.
For its part, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office added that it had been made aware of this evidence in the case.
It said, “This will have no significant impact upon the ongoing investigation. As for these non-investigative issues, in conducting the main investigation we have no jurisdiction for disciplinary investigations, and we are ignoring the reasons why the GSM has been missing for nine months.”