PARIS– Salah Abdeslam, one of Paris attacks’s ringleaders who was captured on March 18 and belongs to the same terror cell as the perpetrators of the Brussels attacks, has spoken out to Belgian authorities. He’s currently incarcerated in Bruges and awaits extradition to France.
Addressing his pivotal role in the Paris attacks which killed 130 people on Nov.13, Abdeslam reportedely confessed that he was wearing an explosive vest and had for mission to drive three other passengers. Their mission was to attack the Stade de France during the soccer match attended by France president Francois Hollande; but Abdeslam said he renounced at the last minute and drove away after dropping off his three passengers, according to French press.
During his audition on March 18, Abdeslam also admitted that he rented cars and reserved hotel rooms per request of his brother Brahim, who is one of the Paris assaults’ suicide bombers. He also claimed the mastermind of the Paris attacks was Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who was shot down by police on Nov. 18 during a massive raid in a Saint Denis, near Paris.
Per Abdeslam, 10 people, including him, were involved in the Paris attacks. Abdelsam is also linked to Najim Laacharoui, one of the two suicide bombers of Brussels airport, per reports. Abdelsam, Laacharoui and Mohamed Belkaïd were reportedly checked at the border of Austria and Hungary in September while traveling back to Belgium in September. Laacharoui’s DNA was found on all but one of the explosive vests used for the Paris attacks, which were plotted out of Brussels.
Belgian federal authorities have proceeded to the arrest of six suspects linked to Brussels attacks yesterday. So far three suicide bombers have been identified: Ibrahim and Khalid el-Bakraoui as well Najim Laacharoui.
Meanwhile, in France, the interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve told local media on Thursday evening that authorities have captured a high-ranked terrorist near Paris, in Argenteuil, who was preparing an attack which was at an advanced stage and was supposed to hit in France.