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Belgian FM says Paris suspect may have planned more attacks

Sunday, March 20, 2016 - 01:34

Belgium's Foreign Minister tells a security forum the Paris attacks suspect had many accomplices and may have been planning more attacks. Rough cut (No reporter narration)

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The prime surviving suspect in the Paris attacks may have been plotting more operations with the help of a weapons cache and a network of associates, Belgium's foreign minister said on Sunday (March 20). Didier Reynders, speaking at a security forum in Brussels two days after the capture of Salah Abdeslam, said the suspect's first statement to a magistrate in Brussels suggested further attacks were planned. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BELGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, DIDIER REYNDERS, SAYING: "The first comments coming from Salah Abdeslam was yesterday that he wanted to go Stade de France in Paris and wanted to be a suicide bombing but he stopped. We don't know why but he stopped. And the next information are that he was ready to restart something from Brussels and it's maybe the reality because I said we found a lot of weapons, heavy weapons, in the first investigations and we have seen a new network of people around him in Brussels." Asked if Abdesalam had a lot of accomplices, Reynders said he had closed links with criminal and terrorist networks, adding the two often have the same modus operandi. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BELGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, DIDIER REYNDERS, SAYING (START OVER SHOT OF ANCHORWOMAN): "Of course. There are many networks, not only members... may be members of his family, people with some... the same ideology like himself, but there are so many links between the so-called terrorists and the criminals. They are using the same tools, they are using the same caves, the same apartments, the same locations. And there are many links between some criminals, not only in Brussels, we have seen that in Paris. After the terrorist attacks it was possible to find some apartments with the same kind of relations between criminal guys and terrorists." Reynders said Belgium and France had so far found around 30 people involved in the gun and bomb attacks that killed 130 people on November 13 in bars, a sports stadium and a concert hall in the French capital. Capturing Abdeslam alive marks a breakthrough for authorities investigating the deadliest militant strikes in Europe since 2004. Islamic State has claimed responsibility, and the United States warned on Sunday that it would try to repeat such atrocities. The 26-year-old French national told a Belgian magistrate on Saturday he had planned to take part in the stadium attack. The admission was disclosed to reporters by the lead French investigator, Francois Molins.

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Belgian FM says Paris suspect may have planned more attacks

Sunday, March 20, 2016 - 01:34