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Friday, March 18, 2016

Paris terror attacks mastermind captured alive in Belgium

Paris terror attacks mastermind Salah Abdelslam has been captured alive in Brussels after being wounded in the leg in a shootout with police.

Let's go to the videotape. More after the video.

Here's more from CNN (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
Belgium's state broadcaster reported that the Belgian-born French citizen was injured in a shootout that ended with his capture. The Belgian counter-terrorism source said two people were wounded.
"We have him," tweeted Theo Francken, Belgium's state secretary for asylum policy and migration.
The 26-year-old Abdeslam was brought to a hospital after being shot in the leg, CNN Belgium affiliate VTM reported, citing a police source. The same broadcaster said two suspects may still be in the house in Molenbeek where Abdeslam was captured.
Three explosions were heard in that area early Friday evening, CNN French affiliate BFMTV reported, though it wasn't clear if those were controlled blasts or part of a continuing operation.
Molenbeek, the impoverished Brussels suburb where Friday's raid took place, has a reputation as a hotbed for jihadism. Several members of its large, predominantly Muslim population -- many of whom are first-, second- and third-generation immigrants from North Africa -- have been linked to terror plots and attacks.
Last fall, Belgian Justice Minister Koen Geens cited Molenbeek as a place where more needs to be done to address what he called Belgium's "foreign fighter problem." 
Earlier Friday, the Belgian federal prosecutor's office revealed that the 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam's fingerprints and DNA were found in a Brussels apartment raided three days earlier. One person was killed and two people escaped that operation, according to authorities.
The man killed by a special forces sniper was Mohamed Belkaid, an Algerian who used the name Samir Bouzid, and who is believed to have directed the Paris attackers via calls from Belgium, according to the prosecutor's office.
Belkaid is believed to have helped Abdeslam travel prior to the attacks and transferred money to a female cousin of Paris ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud following the attack, the Belgian senior counter-terrorism official told CNN in January.
Authorities believe Abdeslam was using the apartment as a hideout following the Paris attacks, according to the Belgian counter-terrorism official.
Investigators think Abdeslam may have been the driver of a black Renault Clio that dropped off three suicide bombers near the Stade de France, one of the attack sites near Paris. They also believe he had worn a suicide belt found on a Paris street after the attacks.
He is believed to have called friends to take him to Belgium after the attacks. They passed through police checkpoints, but Abdeslam had not yet been identified as a suspect and they were allowed to continue on their way.
Surveillance video emerged of him and another man at a gas station near the Belgian border the day after the attacks.
He has eluded authorities ever since.
You have to wonder whether ISIS will try to take hostages in an attempt to spring him, or whether being targeted by hostage-taking to exchange for terrorists is something that only happens to Israel, which finds itself urged by 'friends' to give in to the hostage-takers. 

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