Salah Abdeslam: Paris attacker planned to blow himself up at Stade De France but 'changed his mind'

Abdeslam was caught alive after being shot in the leg by police during an anti-terror raid in Brussels on Friday

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The Independent Online

Salah Abdeslam planned to blow himself up during the Paris attacks but changed his mind, it has emerged.

The suspected Isis Jihadi was captured after being shot in the leg during an anti-terror raid in Brussels on Friday.

He is accused of helping to kill 130 people during the 13 November attacks in Paris and had been on the run for more than 120 days. 

Abdeslam told investigators he had planned to blow himself up at the Stade de France, but changed his mind, the French prosecutor has said.

Salah Abdeslam was arrested after being shot in the leg

"Salah Abdesalam today during questioning by investigators affirmed that, and I quote, 'he wanted to blow himself up at the Stade de France and that he had backed down'," Francois Molins told reporters, adding that Abdeslam's initial statements should be treated with caution.

"His first statements, that we must take with precaution, leave unanswered a series of questions on which Abdeslam will have to explain, in particular, his presence in the 18th district of Paris on Nov. 13 at 22h (10 p.m.)," Molins said.

"He will also have to explain the reasons why he decided to finally abandon his suicide belt."

Abdeslam fled the attacks after removing his suicide bomb belt, which was found in a bin in the southern Paris suburb of Montrouge.

An hour after the attacks, he bought a SIM card from a shop in the 18th arondissment in northern Paris and called two friends in Brussels to pick him up.

After walking for nearly nine hours, he met them in Châtillon, a suburb on the other side of the city, around 7am.

Mr Molins said he played a "central role" in the planning and logistics in the attacks, citing several trips cross Europe in July, September, October and November.

He also said Abdeslam bought detonators and oxygenated water used for making explosives.

Fugitive from Paris attacks wounded in Brussels shootout

Abdeslam was eventually arrested after a dirty glass and a suspiciously large pizza order led police to his hideout. 

A second man arrested in the raid, named as Soufyane Kayal, is said to be an associate of a terror suspect killed on Tuesday. 

Belgian officials have officially charged Abdeslam and the other man, who was using two aliases, "with participation in terrorist murder".

Additional reporting by Reuters