Bullet holes in the window of a restaurant targeted in Paris attack
Bullet holes in the window of a restaurant targeted in Paris attack Reuters

Belgian authorities have arrested a fugitive suspect in the November 13 Paris attacks, French police officials said on Friday, according to The Associated Press.

The suspect was nabbed after a raid Belgian authorities said was actually linked to the deadly March 22 Brussels bombings.

The suspect, Mohamed Abrini, is believed to be the mysterious “man in the hat” who escaped the double bombing at the Zaventem Airport, according to one of the French officials. If true, that would mean Abrini had a key role in both attacks that were claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group.

Friday’s arrest of at least two people came a day after Belgian authorities released photos and video of the airport suspect, noted AP.

The Belgian federal prosecutor’s office confirmed “several arrests” but refused to provide more information.

Abrini was the last identified suspect still at large from the November 13 attacks in Paris which killed 130 people, although his precise role has never been clear. He is a 31-year-old Belgian-Moroccan petty criminal believed to have travelled early last summer to Syria where his younger brother died in 2014.

He has not resurfaced since the emergence of surveillance video placing him in the convoy with the attackers headed to Paris. He reportedly had ties to Abdelhamid Abbaoud, the ringleader of the Paris attacks who died in a police standoff on November 18, days after the Paris attack.

Abrini is also a childhood friend of brothers Salah and Brahim Abdeslam. Salah Abdeslam, who was originally planning to blow himself in Paris but backed out at the last moment, was arrested in Brussels on March 18 after four months on the run as Europe's most wanted man.

Abrini went multiple times to Birmingham, England, last year, meeting with several men suspected of terrorist activity, a European security official told AP.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to provide details on the investigation, said the meetings, including one later last summer, took place in several locations, including cafes and apartments.

He was travelling with Salah Abdeslam, who is in jail in Belgium for involvement in the Paris attacks and is set to be extradited to France.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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