March 24, 2016 / 5:37 PM / in 3 years

Belgian VRT TV says Abdeslam planned to copy Paris attacks

A handout picture shows Belgian-born Abdeslam Salah seen on a call for witnesses notice released by the French Police Nationale information services on their twitter account November 15, 2015. REUTERS/POLICE NATIONALE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian public broadcaster VRT said on Thursday that Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam, arrested last week, was planning a multiple shooting and suicide bomb attack in Brussels similar to those in Paris in November.

Citing no source, VRT said investigators believed Abdeslam and two others, one of them a man arrested with him on Friday, planned to use assault rifles and riot guns to cause mass casualties in Brussels while others would blow themselves up.

“The terrorists were planning the same scenario as in Paris, only it partially failed,” VRT said, two days after three suicide bombers killed at least 31 people at Brussels airport and on the city’s metro.

Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Catherine Evans

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