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Islamic State Paris attacker's phone found under police paperwork

By Andrew V. Pestano
Islamic State Paris attacker's phone found under police paperwork
Police officials have found the missing cellphone deceased Islamic State militant Brahim Abdeslam, who carried out a suicide bombing last November in Paris as part of a larger attack in which 130 people died. The phone was originally seized in February 2015. In this image, French police special forces raid an apartment in Saint Denis, north of Paris, to capture the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks. File Photo by Jerome Groisard/MI/DICOM/UPI | License Photo

BRUSSELS, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- The missing cellphone of one of the Islamic State suicide bombers who took part in last year's Paris attacks has been found underneath paperwork in a Brussels police station, authorities said.

The phone belonged to Brahim Abdeslam, who carried out a suicide bombing during the Nov. 13, 2015, attacks in Paris in which 130 people died. Belgian authorities said the phone's disappearance did not hamper investigations related to Abdeslam.

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The phone was found in the Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels.

"The phone's contents had been backed up before it was lost. All the information was in our system so the loss had no impact on the investigation," a Brussels West police official told BBC News.

Police said Abdeslam, whose brother Salah is awaiting trial, communicated with people who carried out the attacks in Paris, as well as with those who carried out an attack in Brussels in March that killed 32 people.

Abdeslam's phone was originally seized in February 2015 during a drug investigation. After Abdeslam's extremist views were discovered, the phone was to be sent to Belgium's anti-terrorist unit, but it is unclear if the phone was delivered, Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure reports.

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