2015 Paris attack suspect Salah Abdeslam stands trial in Brussels

Salah Abdeslam faces charges concerning a police shootout in the Belgian capital in March 2016. The trial is a prelude to a later one in France over Abdeslam’s role in the Paris attacks that killed 130 people in 2015.

Brussels remained on high alert Monday morning as suspected terrorist Salah Abdeslam was escorted from prison in Paris to stand trial in the Belgian capital.

Belgian and French security left no scenario to chance ahead of Abdeslam trial, with a heightened police presence in the city.

Abdeslam was the most wanted man in Europe for about four months leading up to his arrest in Brussels in March 2016. The 28-year-old French national of Moroccan descent faces trial for alleged links to the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris and is suspected of involvement in the bombings in Brussels the following March. The attacks at the Brussels’ Zavantem airport and a city subway station came within days of Abdeslam’s arrest.

In Brussels, Abdeslam will face charges relating to a shootout with police in the Belgian capital in March 2016 that left three officers wounded and one suspected jihadist dead. He was arrested days later. The trial is scheduled to last four days.

Abdeslam will then stand trial in France for his suspected ties to the Paris attackers, one of whom was his brother.

Abdeslam has refused point-blank to speak to investigators during his nearly two years in isolation under 24-hour video surveillance at Fleury-Merogis prison near Paris.

Authorities hope the Brussels trial will yield clues into the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, as well as into the suicide bombing in Brussels, which left 32 people dead. It is believed that Abdeslam’s arrest prompted members of his terror cell to bring forward plans to attack Brussels. The same cell is thought to have been behind both attacks.

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