Fingerprint of alleged Paris attacks fugitive found in Brussels

By Ed Adamczyk  |  Jan. 8, 2016 at 10:43 AM
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BRUSSELS, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- A fingerprint of a fugitive suspect in the November Paris attacks was found in a Brussels apartment believed to be the pick-up point for explosives used in the attacks.

Belgian federal prosecutors said Friday the fingerprint of Salah Abdelslam, 26, was found during a Dec. 10 search in which traces of explosives and handmade suicide belts were discovered.

Abdeslam has been on the run since the Nov. 13 attacks at several locations throughout Paris which killed 130 people. Law enforcement has arrested 10 people suspected of being involved in the attacks, though Abdeslam has eluded capture.

Among those in police custody are several people suspected of helping him escape.

Police believe the attacks were planned and coordinated in Belgium. Abdelslam is a French citizen of Moroccan descent, born in Belgium. He is suspected of escorting three suicide bombers to the Stade de France football stadium, where explosive devices were set off.

It is not clear if the fingerprint found at the apartment was placed there before or after the wave of attacks. He has been at large since he asked friends for a ride from Paris to Brussels after the massacre.

In a separate matter, Frederic Van Leeuw, Belgian federal prosecutor, said Belgium could face an attack on Jan. 15, the first anniversary of an attempted terrorist incident in Verviers. Two people were killed in a shootout on that date as Belgian police pre-emptively attacked a group in the advanced stages of plotting terrorist activities.

"We are conscious of the symbolic value of 15 January for the terrorists, but we are ready," Van Leeuw said told the Flemish-language VTM television channel Thursday.

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