Morocco arrests Belgian national linked to Paris attackers

Morocco says it has arrested Belgian national linked to Paris attacks

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

An armed police officer stands guard near the Bataclan concert hall, one of the sites of the shooting attacks as people continue to pay tribute to the victims in Paris, France on November 25, 2015

Moroccan authorities have arrested a Belgian national of Moroccan origin directly linked to the attackers who carried out the Paris shootings and bombings in November that killed 130 people, the government said in a statement on Monday.

The Interior Ministry gave only the suspect's initials in Arabic and said he fought in Syria with Nusra Front before joining the DAESH terrorist organisation.

The suspect, whose initials could be translated to J.A. or G.A., was arrested on Jan. 15 in the city of Mohammedia, the statement added.

"He went to Syria with one of the suicide bombers of Saint Denis," it said.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a 28-year-old Belgian national who authorities said was the ringleader of the Paris attacks, was killed with other suspects days after police raided a house in the Saint Denis suburb.

Investigations showed that during his stay in Syria he has built solid ties with DAESH leaders including the ringleader of the Paris attacks.

Morocco provided the tip-off that enabled French police to locate Abaaoud. The country has been holding Abaaoud's brother Yassine since October and has issued an arrest warrant for Salah Abdeslam, who is suspected of taking part in the attacks and is on the run.

TRTWorld and agencies