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Brussels attacks suspect extradited to France

The pre-trial detention of three terrorists of the 2016 Brussels attacks has been extended. Credit: © Belga

A Belgian terrorist suspect in the Brussels and Paris terror attacks carried out months apart from each other has been extradited to France, Belgian federal prosecutors confirmed Wednesday.

Ali El Haddad Asufi, wanted for his suspected involvement in the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, was handed over to French authorities on Tuesday evening, La Capital reported.

Months after the coordinated shootings in Paris, he is thought to have also participated in planning the March 2016 Brussels bombings in which 32 people, not counting the suicide-bombers, died.

The suspected terrorist was being held in near-isolation in a prison in Belgium under a national preventive detention warrant, but the extradition was carried out after France issued a European Arrest Warrant (EAW).

Federal prosecutors confirmed the French daily’s reports and added that a Brussels appeals court had in 2018 approved a request by the detainee to be released with an electronic surveillance bracelet, but that the EAW, issued in the same year, had blocked his release.

The extradition of Ali El Haddad Asufi marks the second time in less than a month that Belgian authorities hand over a terror suspect to France, after Mehdi Nemmouche, responsible for the 2014 shootings in the Brussels Jewish Museum, was transferred to a French prison in May.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times