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Friday, 18 March 2016
Brussels raids: Paris attack suspect Abdeslam arrested
Prosecutors said the second wanted man arrested in Molenbeek, Monir Ahmed Al Hadj, was believed to have travelled last October with Abdeslam to Germany, where his fingerprints were taken during an identity check.
The French president said Abdeslam's arrest was an "important moment" but added that it was not the "final conclusion".
"We must catch all those who allowed, organised or facilitated these attacks and we realise that they are a lot more numerous than we thought earlier and had identified," he said.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said the raid had come after "intense" detective work and said it was a "very important result in the battle for democracy".
The raid in Molenbeek followed the discovery of Abdeslam's fingerprints in a flat in the southern Forest suburb of Brussels that was raided on Tuesday, although prosecutors said the prints could not be dated.
One man - identified as Algerian national Mohamed Belkaid and linked to the Paris attacks - was shot dead in Tuesday's raid.
Officials said at the time they believed as many as two other suspects may have escaped.
The man killed on Tuesday, Belkaid, is believed to have used a false ID in the name of Samir Bouzid, while crossing the border between Austria and Hungary with Abdeslam and another man last September, the Belgian prosecutor's office said.
The false ID was also used four days after the Paris attacks at a Western Union office in Brussels to transfer money to Hasna Aitboulahcen, who Belgian prosecutors say was the niece of the suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks,Abdelhamid Abaaoud.