Salah Abdeslam, who was sentenced to life in jail over the 2015 Paris jihadist attacks, was removed from his Belgian prison cell on Wednesday and transferred back to France, AFP reported.

Abdeslam is the only surviving member of the Islamic State (ISIS) group cell that killed 130 people in the French capital in November 2015, in the worst terror attack in the country's history.

Found guilty in Belgium last year of planning subsequent 2016 attacks in Brussels, his transfer back to continue serving out his French prison sentence had been blocked by an appeals court on human rights grounds, according to AFP.

The Belgian federal prosecutor's office confirmed the transfer -- first announced by Abdeslam's lawyer -- saying he was taken from a Brussels jail to the border and handed over to French authorities.

After the Paris attacks, Abdeslam fled to Brussels where he was arrested in March 2016, days before suicide attacks that killed 32 and injured hundreds at Brussels airport and a metro station.

Since 2016, Abdeslam has been detained mostly in France, but his lawyers have argued he should be allowed to serve his sentence in Belgium, where he grew up and has family ties despite holding French citizenship.

A Brussels appeal court suspended his transfer back to France over concerns it contravened the European Convention of Human Rights and its protection of the right to "family life".

The prosecutor's office said that that the legal agreement for Belgium to transfer him back to France superseded the civil ruling by the Brussels appeal court.

In September of 2021, Abdeslam acknowledged his role in the Paris attacks for the first time and said the killings were retaliation for French air strikes on ISIS and the deaths of 130 innocent people in the attacks were “nothing personal”. He later apologized to the victims at the end of his trial.

Abdeslam was designated by the United States as a "global terrorist", meaning that sanctions freezing any assets in US jurisdiction and forbidding Americans to do business with him will be imposed.