Suspected Paris attacker terrorist Salah Abdeslam allegedly told interrogators he was planning new operations and “was ready to restart something from Brussels,” Belgium’s foreign minister Didier Reynders said.
At a security conference in Brussels, Reynders said Abdeslam’s apparent claim “may be the reality.”
Reynders added that investigators have “found a lot of weapons” and “have seen a new network of people around him [Abdeslam] in Brussels.”
“We have found more than 30 people involved in the terrorist attacks in Paris, but we are sure that there are others,” Reynders said.
‘This is not a local team’
Belgian justice minister Koen Geens has said investigators are yet to establish the true identity of the terrorist suspect detained together with Abdeslam in a ground floor apartment in a town house in Molenbeek on Friday, Flanders News reported.
Geens said: “It’s a disturbing element. People believe this is a team from Molenbeek, but that’s not correct. All the time people are arriving from Syria using a raft of channels. In this case, Abdeslam collected several people in Germany last October.
“We do not know who these people are. Often they have never been to Europe before. Co-operation between a well-integrated local network and trained people arriving from the Middle East forms the challenge we are facing. We often discover people during house searches, e.g. the person shot dead (in Vorst) who we didn’t know at that point.
“We have stopped a number of people who were closely involved in the Paris attacks, some who were not known to us. This may be a decisive step. Our fear is that people will continue to come from Syria. Peace will only return when peace returns to Syria.”