Police fail to nab Paris suspect in Brussels raid

Belgian police crack down on Muslim neighborhood, but fail to nab terrorist who took part in Paris attack and fled.

Ari Yashar , | updated: 4:20 PM

Abdeslam Salah
Abdeslam Salah
French Police

Belgian police launched a crackdown on Monday in the Muslim immigrant neighborhood of Molenbeek, Brussels.

Rue Delaunoy was identified as the street where the raid took place according to RTBF, with RTL radio initially indicating that Salah Abdeslam, 26, was nabbed in the operation. 

A spokesman for the Belgian prosecutor's office later informed AFP that police had concluded the major raid without making any arrests.

"The operation is over and the result is negative. No one was arrested," Eric Van Der Sypt said. The mayor of Molenbeek district also confirmed the raid was over.

Abdeslam, a former Brussels tram worker, had gone fugitive after directly taking part in the Saturday attack in Paris by Islamic State (ISIS), which left no less than 129 murdered.

Shortly after the attack the terrorist was reportedly stopped by officers and questioned, but then let go, and he afterwards apparently fled to Brussels.

Aside from Abdeslam, the mastermind behind the attack was identified Monday as being Belgian, and was named as Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a senior ISIS terrorist who had planned a thwarted train attack in August.

Abaaoud also hails from Molenbeek, and it is likely that the raid aims to locate him as well.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said Monday that the authorities would crack down on militancy in Molenbeek and other districts.

"I have asked the security services to give us plans very quickly, for Molenbeek but also other areas, so that we can have a much more organized approach to the fight against radicalism," he told RTL radio.

Meanwhile in France a total of 23 suspects have been arrested and dozens of weapons were seized in a string of raids according to officials.



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