Terror suspects arrested in Paris and Brussels attacks that injured missionaries

Posted at 9:54 AM, Apr 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-08 12:32:42-04

Belgian authorities announced several terror-related arrests Friday, one possibly being the man suspected of driving those involved in last fall’s Paris attacks.

The Belgian prosecutor’s office announced the arrests but did not immediately name the suspects or give any other information.

But Belgian state broadcaster VRT reported that one of those arrested is Mohamed Abrini, a 31-year-old Belgian-Moroccan who had been among Europe’s most wanted.

A senior Belgian counterterrorism official, however, cautioned it is too soon to know if Abrini was arrested though authorities have “reason to hope.”

“It is too soon to know with certainty,” the official told CNN’s Paul Cruickshank.

Abrini one of Europe’s most wanted

According to a European police cooperative known as ENFAST, video showed Abrini with Salah Abdeslam — the alleged eighth planned attacker in Paris, and the only one to come out alive — on November 11, two days before the massacre in the French capital.

The same Renault Clio that Abrini drove was used in those attacks, ENFAST reports. Abdeslam told authorities he drove a car of that same make and model to the Stade de France — where suicide bombers detonated explosives outside a soccer game — and abandoned it.

He then wandered into the subway and allegedly “contacted one person,” Mohamed Abrini, CNN’s French affiliate BFMTV reported.

The Paris attacks, which killed 130 people, have been tied to Belgium in several ways.

Brussels’ Molenbeek neighborhood, in particular, has developed a reputation as a hotbed for jihadists. Several of those people involved in Paris called it home.

A senior counterterrorism official has said Abdeslam was probably going to be part of an attack planned by the ISIS cell that carried out the Brussels carnage. The 26-year-old was captured in Molenbeek four days before the March 22 attacks in Brussels.

The bombings at the Maelbeek metro station and the Brussels Airport killed 32 people.