Belgium charges 2nd suspect linked to foiled French attack

  • AFP, Brussels
  • Updated: Mar 28, 2016 09:54 IST
In this image taken from video filmed through a window, showing armed police as they coax a young girl away from a suspect who is laying on the ground at a tram stop in Brussels, Belgium, Friday March 25, 2016. (AP Photo)

Belgium has charged a second man linked to a foiled French attack with involvement in a terrorist group, the federal prosecutor has said.

The prosecutor named the suspect as Abderamane A., who police shot in the leg after a stand-off at a tram-stop Friday in the Schaerbeek district of Brussels.

The man had previously been sentenced to seven years in prison and banned from entering France for life for helping to facilitate the assassination of Afghan political and military leader Ahmad Shah Massoud in 2001.

Belgian authorities on Saturday charged another suspect, Rabah N., with the same offence in connection with the arrest of terror suspect Reda Kriket near Paris two days earlier.

French police found arms and explosives in a flat Kriket was using and said they had prevented an attack from taking place.

Kriket was convicted in absentia in Belgium last year in connection with a network helping jihadi fighters go to Syria, along with Abdelhamid Abaaoud.

He is the suspected ringleader of the November 13 Paris attacks, which left 130 people dead, and is being held in prison in Belgium.

Tuesday’s suicide bomb attacks at Brussels airport and on the city metro system left 31 people dead, plus the three bombers, and some 340 injured.

Prosecutors on Saturday laid the first charges in connection with the Brussels attacks against a suspect named as Faycal C., who faces counts of terrorist murder, attempted terrorist murder and participating in a terrorist group.

The announcement fanned speculation that Faycal C. might be the third airport suicide bomber who fled the scene, and a source close to the enquiry told AFP that investigators were working on this “hypothesis”.

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