Belgian police seek Najim Laachraoui, alleged Paris attack accomplice

He and another alleged accomplice are being sought by police in France and Belgium.

By Ed Adamczyk

BRUSSELS, March 21 (UPI) -- Belgian police said they are seeking a man whose DNA was found in safe houses used to hide suspected Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam.

Najim Laachraoui's DNA was allegedly found in homes used by the jihadist network responsible for the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. The 24-year-old also went by the name of Soufiane Kayal.


Prosecutors said Laachraoui was one of at least three people who taught Abdelslam and sheltered him while he was sought by police in what has been called Europe's largest manhunt.

Abdeslam was captured Friday in Belgium, and though officials said he is cooperating with authorities, his lawyer denied he will become an informer for more lenient judicial treatment. Abdeslam told officials additional terrorist strikes were planned and that he intended to participate in the Paris attacks but withdrew at the last moment.

Prosecutors said Laachraoui's DNA was found in homes in the Belgian town of Auvelais and in Brussels' Schaerbeek district, which they believe Abdeslam used as a hideout after the attacks. In September 2015 Abdeslam was stopped at the Hungary-Austria border with two colleagues using fake Belgian identification cards, one of whom was Laachraoui, police said.


French and Belgian police seek the public's help in finding Laachraoui, as well as Mohamed Abrini, 31, who was seen in a filling station security video on the road to Paris, two days before the attacks.

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