Salah Abdeslam, a prime suspect in the Paris attacks who was captured in Brussels on Friday, has been formally charged.
Abdeslam was charged “with participation in terrorist murder” and for his involvement in the activities of a terrorist organisation, according to reports by The Guardian.
The 26-year-old Belgian-born French national who lives in Molenbeek, was arrested following a gunfight with police. He sustained a leg injury and was treated at Saint-Pierre University Hospital.
A separate raid conducted on an apartment in Forest, Brussels had found records of Abdeslam’s fingerprints earlier this week on Tuesday.
Belgian prime minister Charles Michel and French president Francois Hollande confirmed the news at a press conference with Hollande saying that there is “no doubt that the [French] judicial authorities will request an extradition”.
The video below depicts the dramatic moments of the police operation in Brussels where the suspect can be seen being dragged into a police car.
— RT Play (@rt_play) March 18, 2016
“Though this arrest was an important step, it is not the final result. There will be further arrests. We know the network is extensive in Belgium, France and other countries,” said Hollande.
“What we need to do is arrest all of those who allowed, organised and facilitated these attacks [in Paris]. We have realised, without going into details, they are far more numerous than we thought.”
Belgian secretary of state for asylum and migration, Theo Francken, also confirmed the news on Twitter, simply tweeting: “We got him”. The tweet has since been removed.
The arrest brings the four-month search for Abdeslam, the most wanted man in Europe, to a close after a series of coordinated attacks took place throughout Paris on November 13.
It is believed that Abdeslam was the sole survivor of the attackers after driving a car carrying a number of terrorists to Stade de France, the French national soccer stadium, according to The New York Times.
AFP and Reuters reports that he initially wanted to “blow himself up” during the attacks but changed his mind at the last moment. He is expected to oppose his extradition to France.
The attacks, which took place in various locations including the Bataclan Theatre and Le Petit Cambodge, left 130 people dead and more than 400 others injured.
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