Both deadly terror attacks in Paris and Brussels were executed by the same gang of Muslim friends and ISIS fans from Brussels Molenbeek. This weekend they all are either dead or in jail.
Now Mohamed Abrini (31) was arrested in Brussels, in the suburb of Anderlecht. He is connected to the deadly ISIS attacks in Paris and at the airport in Brussels.
His ISIS terror group was initially planning a second attack on France. Mohamed Abrini said the group had decided to attack Brussels instead after the arrest of fellow suspect Salah Abdeslam.
Abrini is suspected in the attacks in Paris mainly as the driver of the terrorists, and has admitted to being a part of the Brussels airport attack as well. He was the “3rd attacker” at the airport bombing, seen on CCTV picture below as the “man with the hat” with a beige jacket.
Five other arrests were made, and a total of four people were charged with terrorism-related offenses.
- Mohamed Abrini was first seen on CCTV at a service station with Salah Abdeslam, the mastermind of the Paris attacks, driving through northern France just days before the Paris attacks.
- He has admitted that he is connected to the Brussels attacks. After the airport killings, he even sold his hat and tossed his jacket in a dustbin.
- He lived in Brussels Molenbeek near his friends, the Abdeslam brothers.
- This arrests helps confirm that both attacks were planned by the same network of individuals, supported by ISIS. Abrini’s DNA was found in safe houses in Brussels, as well as in one of the cars used in the Paris attacks.
Prosecutors have said that Abrini and the others had planned to attack France again, but after the arrest of Abdeslam, they changed their plans to attack Brussels instead.
- A second operation on Friday ended in the important arrest of Osama Krayem, who is suspected in the Maelbeek train bombing in Brussels.
Prosecutors believe that the Swedish national entered Syria on a fake Syrian passport, under the name Naim Al Ahmed, and returned to Europe as a refugee on a boat to Greece. He entered Belgium in early October.
- The other two people arrested are named as Herve BM, a Rwandan national, and Bilal EM. Both are suspected of providing support to the bombers.
What does this mean for the security in Brussels and Europe?
- These arrests are significant because it means that all the bombers from the attacks in Brussles have been identified, and are either captured or killed.
- It is a major win for the often criticized Belgian Police, but the fight is far from over.
- As the other two people charged demonstrates: there is still a strong support network that is likely planning additional attacks already. Dismantling that is the next challenge, and hopefully it can be done quickly, before ISIS can strike again.
Photo Credits: Belgian Police Handout