Paris Suspect Was Ready to ‘Carry out Follow-Up Attacks;’ Manhunt for Accomplice Underway
According to the Wall Street Journal, the suspect, Salah Abdeslam, said to authorities during his interrogation that he’d been ready to “carry out follow-up attacks.”
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 18, 2016
“He was ready to restart something from Brussels,” said Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, according to Reuters.
“That is maybe the reality, because we have found a lot of heavy weapons and we have seen a new network around him,” he added.
He also said Abdeslam wanted to be a suicide bomber but he backed out.
Abdeslam, who is believed to be the logistician in the attacks that killed 130 people in France, was arrested with two other suspects. He told authorities that family and friends helped him avoid getting caught by authorities for four months, and that he’s part of a much bigger terrorist organization than they first suspected.
Abdeslam, 26, is a French citizen of Moroccan descent who grew up in Brussels. He was interrogated on March 19, and officials said he “wasn’t in great shape” because he was shot in the leg during the raid.
A video was recently released showing the moment Abdeslam walked out of a building and was shot by police that were waiting for him outside.
The information of Abdeslam’s interrogation has initiated a manhunt for another suspect.
Officials are now searching for 24-year-old Najim Laachraoui, who they say traveled to Hungary with Abdeslam prior to the attacks.
He had also traveled to Syria in 2013. Officials stated that Laachraoui rented a house under the name of Soufiane Kayal in a Belgian town, which was allegedly used as a safe house. Prosecutors said they found his DNA at the location.
Laachraoui is “someone who must explain himself,” said Belgian prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw.
He also emphasized that “clues” don’t amount to proof, and that the public should come forward with any information.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.