Paris Suspect, Salah Abdeslam, Charged for Brussels Shootout That Injured Belgian Police

By Denisse Moreno, Epoch Times
April 21, 2016 Updated: April 21, 2016

Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in the Paris attacks was charged on April 21 with attempted murder after a shootout in Brussels with authorities last month.

Abdeslam, a French citizen of Moroccan descent who grew up in Belgium, is also accused of being involved in the terrorist attacks in Paris last November, where 130 people were killed.

Abdeslam, 26, was arrested on March 18 after a shootout in the Brussels neighborhood of Molenbeek. He was shot in the leg during the raid as he exited an apartment and tried to escape. Abdeslam had been on the run for four months and was Europe’s No. 1 fugitive.

Officials say four police officers were shot at and slightly injured on March 15,  as they conducted a search in an apartment in the Forest district, which they thought was vacant. Authorities fatally shot an Algerian suspect, and Abdeslam’s fingerprints were found. Abdeslam was arrested three days later.

“Salah Abdeslam has been charged today with attempted murder in the case opened after the gunbattle in Forest during which several police officers were injured,” the federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement, according to AFP.

Officials said the judge did not order an arrest because Abdelslam was already in custody over the Paris attacks.

Belgian federal prosecutors made the announcement weeks after the attacks in Brussels on March 22 that killed 32 people. Authorities in Belgium were also questioning Abdeslam for potential links to three suicide bombers who attacked the airport in Brussels and subway.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.