Paris attacks: Belgian man, 22, arrested in Brussels on suspicion of carrying out terror attacks

The suspect, named as Ayoub B, was arrested in the Molenbeek district of the capital

Lizzie Dearden@lizziedearden
Thursday 31 December 2015 10:49
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Police officers are pictured as police conduct new searches linked to the November 13 Paris terrorist attacks, on December 30, 2015, in Molenbeek, Brussels.
Police officers are pictured as police conduct new searches linked to the November 13 Paris terrorist attacks, on December 30, 2015, in Molenbeek, Brussels.

A 22-year-old man has been arrested in Brussels on suspicion of carrying out terror attacks as part of the investigation into last month’s massacres in Paris.

The Belgian federal prosecutor named the man as Ayoub B, saying he was detained on Wednesday during a police raid in Molenbeek, where several of the Isis militants who carried out the attacks in France had links.

“A judge issued an arrest warrant this morning (Thursday) for carrying out terror attacks and participation in the activities of a terrorist group,” a spokesperson said.

Brussels fireworks cancelled

Ten mobile phones are being examined after being seized from a home which was first searched three days after the 13 November massacres. No weapons or explosives were found.

Fugitive Salah Abdeslam, believed to be the only surviving attacker, lived in Molenbeek with his brother Brahim, who blew himself up on the Boulevard Voltaire.

The Belgian “mastermind” of the atrocity, Isis militant Abdelhamid Abaaoud, also grew up in the district.

The property searched on Wednesday was initially thought to have links to Abdeslam, with the Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper reporting “strong evidence” was found in November that indicated he may have spent time there.

Ayoub B is the 10th person to be arrested in the Belgian investigation and will appear in court within five days.

He was detained days after two suspected Isis members were arrested on suspicion of planning terror attacks at high-profile targets in Brussels during the festive period.

The federal prosecutor’s office accused the two men of being part of a terror cell after seizing military-style uniforms, computer equipment and Islamist propaganda.

Belgium has been on a high state of alert since 130 people were killed in Paris and authorities have cancelled the New Year’s Eve fireworks display in Brussels amid fears crowds could be targeted.

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