French police freed terror suspect after Paris attacks

Nov 17, 2015, 08:30 am

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French police freed terror suspect after Paris attacks

By AsiaToday reporter Lee Mi-hyun - Terror suspect Abdeslam Salah, 26, was reportedly stopped by French police near the Belgian border but released after an ID check in the hours after the deadly rampage in Paris. Abdeslam is now the focus of an international manhunt.

The Associated Press (AP) reported Sunday that the French authorities had Abdeslam in their grasp when they stopped the car carrying him near the Belgian border on Saturday morning.

Abdeslam was in the car with two other men when it was stopped by police, but was released after checks.

French authorities had already identified the man as the person who rented a Volkswagen Polo found near the Bataclan concert hall, which was the site of the deadliest attack from Friday's series of assaults.

Right after the attacks, France began controlling its border but failed to prevent the terror suspect from escaping.

It's not clear why the local French police did not take Abdeslam into custody, and it's not known whether they had been informed of his apparent connection to the attacks, the AP added.

"It was a simple check. There was no lookout notice at the time of the traffic stop," a French police official told the AP.

When asked whether Abdeslam's name had been shared over police networks by then, the official said, "I have no explanation."

Belgian-born Abdeslam is one of the suspects involved in the deadly attacks on Paris that killed at least 129 people.

One of his brothers had detonated a suicide vest down the street from the theater, and another brother was apprehended in Belgium.

French police released a photo of Abdeslam Salah after issuing an international arrest warrant for the Belgian-born man on Nov. 15.

#terror suspect #Abdeslam Salah #Paris attacks 
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