2016 Brussels police raids

2016 Brussels police raids
Part of the aftermath of the November 2015 Paris attacks
Type Police raid
Target Forest and Molenbeek, Belgium
Date 15/18 March 2016
Outcome Salah Abdeslam and 4 other suspects arrested
Casualties March 15:

  • 1 suspect killed
  • 4 police officers injured

March 18:

  • 2 suspects injured

On 15 and 18 March 2016, Belgian police carried out raids on houses in Brussels. The raids were conducted in connection to theNovember 2015 Paris attacks. In the raids, one suspect was killed and five others were arrested, including Salah Abdeslam, who is suspected of direct involvement in the Paris attacks.

15 March

Police carried out a raid on a house in Forest, a suburb of Brussels. A police statement said that the raid was related to the November 2015 Paris attacks.[1][2] The house was situated in the Rue du Dries, near the Audi factory in Forest.[3] Four police officers, one of them French, were wounded in the raid.[4] One suspect was killed, and a manhunt went underway for two other suspects.[5]

The suspect killed was identified by Belgian police as Mohamed Belkaid, a 35-year-old Algerian citizen. Belkaid immigrated to and lived for several years in Sweden, where he married a Swedish woman. In 2014, he traveled to Syria to commit jihad.[6] Belkaid is believed to have been an associate of Salah Abdeslam, a suspected accomplice in the Paris attacks.[7] He was killed after being shot by a police sniper.[8]

It was reported that an ISIS flag and Salafist literature had been found in the flat, together with a Kalashnikov rifle and ammunition.[9]

18 March

On 18 March, Belgian prosecutors stated that Abdeslam’s fingerprints had been found in the Forest flat.[10] Later that day, there were reports of further raids, and the sound of gunfire, in theMolenbeek area of Brussels.[11] Two suspects, identified as Abdeslam and Monir Ahmed Alaaj, were reportedly injured in one such raid.[12][8] Five people, including Abdeslam, were arrested during the raid.[13][14][15]

Another suspect, identified as 24-year-old Belgian citizen Najim Laachraoui, remained on the run.[16] Suspicion was apparently aroused to Abdeslam’s location after a person in the flat made an unusually large pizza order. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the woman who made the food order with two other adults, children, and Abdeslam.[17]

Reactions

In the wake of the 18 March raid, French President François Hollande called Abdeslam’s arrest “an important moment”.[7] French Prime Minister Manuel Valls also welcome Abdeslam’s arrest and added that more work needed to be done in tracking down terrorist cells in Europe.[18]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ “Shots in Brussels raid tied to Paris attacks”. CNN. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  2. Jump up^ “Gunfire in Brussels raid on ‘Paris attacks suspects'”.BBC News. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  3. Jump up^ “Brussels raid: Suspect killed in anti-terror operation”.BBC News. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  4. Jump up^ Chrisafis, Angelique; Rankin, Jennifer (16 March 2016).“One suspect dead, at least one still at large after Brussels terror raid”. The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved16 March 2016.
  5. Jump up^ “Brussels raid over Paris attacks: Dead gunman was Algerian national”. BBC News. 16 March 2016. Retrieved16 March 2016.
  6. Jump up^ “Belgisk terrorist bodde i Sverige” [Belgian terrorist lived in Sweden]. Dagens Nyheter. 17 March 2016. Retrieved19 March 2016.
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b “Paris attacks: Salah Abdeslam ‘changed suicide bomb plan'”. BBC News. 19 March 2016. Retrieved 19 March2016.
  8. ^ Jump up to:a b “Paris attacks: Salah Abdeslam ‘worth his weight in gold'”. BBC News. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 21 March2016.
  9. Jump up^ Breeden, Aurelien (16 March 2016). “Belgium Says Algerian Killed in Raid May Have Had Links to Radical Islam”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 16 March2016.
  10. Jump up^ “Brussels raid: Paris suspect Abdeslam’s fingerprints found in flat”. BBC News. 18 March 2016. Retrieved 18 March2016.
  11. Jump up^ “‘Shots fired’ in new Brussels raids”. BBC News. 18 March 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  12. Jump up^ “Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam shot, arrested in Brussels raid”. Russia Today. 18 March 2016. Retrieved18 March 2016.
  13. Jump up^ “Belgian police checking if man detained is Paris terror attack suspect”. CNN. 18 March 2016. Retrieved 18 March2016.
  14. Jump up^ Chrisafis, Angelique (18 March 2016). “Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam arrested in Brussels terror raid”.The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  15. Jump up^ Kennedy, Merrit (18 March 2016). “Paris Attacks Suspect Salah Abdeslam Is Captured During Raid In Brussels”.NPR. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  16. Jump up^ Lilia Blaise (21 March 2016). “Belgian Police Name Man Suspected of Being Salah Abdeslam’s Accomplice”. The New York Times. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  17. Jump up^ Elizabeth Dearden (19 March 2016). “Salah Abdeslam: Suspicious pizza order ‘led police to Paris attacker’s hideout’ at Molenbeek flat”. The Independent. Retrieved 19 March2016.
  18. Jump up^ Willsher, Kim (19 March 2016). “Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam ‘backed out of blowing himself up'”. The Guardian. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
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