By Steve Dellar  |  02-05-2018   News
Photo credit: @LoicHofstedt and @CGTNFrancais | Twitter

Under intense scrutiny and faced with an overwhelming police force guarding all possible exits, the sole remaining member of the ISIS terror cell that struck Paris during the November 2015 attacks which left 130 dead is being transported from Paris, France today to start his trial in Brussels, Belgium.

Mr. Salah Abdeslam will make his first appearance in the Brussels court of justice today, accused of the attempted murder of police officers after a shootout in the Belgian capital shortly before his arrest in March 2016. It was days after his capture that his compatriots attacked the Belgian airport and the metro, leaving 35 dead.

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="fr" dir="ltr">Salah <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Abdeslam?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Abdeslam</a> a quitté la prison de Fleury-Mérogis pour être jugé en <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Belgique?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Belgique</a> <a href="https://t.co/oXIdrbcIJd">pic.twitter.com/oXIdrbcIJd</a></p>&mdash; i24NEWS Français (@i24NEWS_FR) <a href="https://twitter.com/i24NEWS_FR/status/960404860549173248?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 5, 2018</a></blockquote>

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The 28-year-old Abdeslam had fled Paris after the November 2015 attacks in the French capital. Apparently, he had been hiding out in a Brussels suburb for months, with some saying that many residents of the mainly Muslim area knew he had been staying there. Thanks to police investigation, the cell was raided in March 2016. After coming under fire from inside, three officers were injured and a terrorist suspect killed in a subsequent shout-out whilst Abdeslam escaped over the rooftops. He was captured three days later.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">AFPTV live from Brussels courthouse where <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Abdeslam?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Abdeslam</a> trial is about to open. <a href="https://t.co/tOKH0xZENf">pic.twitter.com/tOKH0xZENf</a></p>&mdash; Loïc Hofstedt (@LoicHofstedt) <a href="https://twitter.com/LoicHofstedt/status/960393522204610560?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 5, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Sven Mary, his Belgian lawyer, has since agreed to represent Abdeslam in court this week where he will face charges of “attempted murder of police officers linked to terrorism.”

After the Paris attack of 13 November 2015, Mr. Abdeslam was named Europe’s most wanted man. He had normally meant to blow himself up near the Stade de France stadium where the then French president, François Hollande, was among 80,000 people watching a France-Germany football match, but his vest apparently malfunctioned.

The foiled bomb at the football stadium was followed by several drive-by shootings and suicide bombings at cafes and restaurants around the 10th and 11th arrondissements of north Paris that same evening and ended gruesomely with an attack at the Bataclan theatre during a rock concert of the Eagles of Death Metal where 89 people were killed.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks the next day.

Source:

http://www.lemonde.fr/police-justice/article/2018/02/05/le-proces-de-salah-abdeslam-s-ouvre-a-bruxelles-sous-haute-securite_5251750_1653578.html

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