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Paris Terror Attacks

Paris Bomb Suspect Salah Abdeslam Charged Over Brussels Shootout

FROM MARCH 18: Key Suspect in Paris Attacks Captured 8:55

BRUSSELS, Belgium — Paris massacre suspect Salah Abdeslam was charged Thursday over a shootout with police Brussels in which four officers were wounded and an accomplice was killed, his lawyer said.

The shootout was a week before the March 22 Brussels metro and airport attack that killed more than 30 people.

Abdeslam was formally charged by a judge in Belgium with four counts of attempted murder, lawyer Sven Mary told NBC News, but he wasn’t placed under arrest in the matter in order to prevent complication over his extradition to France.

The 26-year-old — at one stage Europe's most-wanted man, and part of a large multi-national terror cell with links to ISIS — was already in custody over his involvement in the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris.

Image: Salah Abdeslam
Salah Abdeslam, 26, is suspected of involvement in the Paris attacks on November 13, 2015. Belgian Police / AFP - Getty Images

Born and raised in Belgium to Moroccan-born parents, he told a magistrate he planned to blow himself up at the Stade de France sports stadium in Paris but backed out at the last minute.

He went on the run for four months but was captured on Mar. 18, three days after the shootout in the Forest district of Brussels.

A court in Belgium ruled Mar. 31 that Abdeslam can be extradited to France. He is accused of providing logistical support to the other Paris bombers, who included his older brother, Brahim, who blew himself up in the Comptoir Voltaire café.

Another suspected Paris accomplice, bomb-maker Najim Laachraoui, was on the run with Abdeslam but blew himself up in the Brussels airport bombing on Mar. 22, prosecutors say.