Brother of Paris, Brussels attacks suspect detained: Prosecutors

A Belgian court on June 9 approved Mohamed Abrini\'s extradition to France, but said the handover would not happen immediately.

Published: 20th June 2016 11:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th June 2016 11:00 PM   |  A+A-


BRUSSLES: The brother of Mohamed Abrini, a Moroccan-Belgian implicated in the Paris and Brussels attacks, was detained Monday for having violated his bail conditions, Belgian prosecutors said.

In early March, authorities investigating the November 13 Paris massacres accused Ibrahim Abrini of "participation in the activities of a terrorist group" at the time police were looking for his brother Mohamed, the federal prosecutor's office spokesman Thierry Werts told AFP.

Investigators suspected Ibrahim knew more than what he had told them about the disappearance of his brother, even if he was not believed to have played a major role in the attacks that killed 130 people in Paris, according to Werts who confirmed a report in the Belgian daily La Derniere Heure.

Nevertheless Ibrahim Abrini was "allowed his freedom provided he respect a certain number of conditions," Werts said, without specifying what the conditions were or which ones he had violated.

An investigating judge ordered Ibrahim to be detained for violating the conditions, he said.

He said his detention is neither the result of new evidence against him nor of many raids on Saturday and Monday as part of separate counter-terrorism cases.

Mohamed Abrini, 31, is suspected of playing a role in both the Paris attacks and the Brussels attacks on March 22, which killed 32 people at the Belgian capital's airport and a metro station.

He was caught on camera with Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam at a petrol station north of the French capital two days before the Paris attacks. The two men were travelling in a car used to drive the jihadists to their targets. Abdeslam is now detained in France.

Abrini has also confessed to being the "man in the hat" caught on video with the two airport bombers and who was allegedly preparing to detonate a third bomb before fleeing the scene.

A Belgian court on June 9 approved Mohamed Abrini's extradition to France, but said the handover would not happen immediately.

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