Breaking News Emails
A Belgian man has been charged with being a leader of the terror group that killed 130 people in Paris in 2015, Belgian officials said Friday.
The Belgian prosecutor’s office said that a man identified as Yassine A. was charged Wednesday with “terrorist assassinations” and of being “a leader in the activities of a terrorist group.”
Prosecutors said the suspect will be remanded in custody for one month, but declined to share any more information.
The attacks left 130 dead when militants targeted a concert hall, a stadium and restaurants and bars in the French capital. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Yassine A. is the brother of the supposed mastermind of the Paris plot, Oussama Atar, and the cousin of brothers Ibrahim and Khalid Bakraoui, who carried out attacks at a Brussels airport and subway station in March 2016, killing 32 people, according to the Associated Press.
The November 13 attacks rattled France as militants appeared to target youngsters out having fun on a Friday night.
It came months after a gun assault on the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and an attack on a kosher grocery store killed 17 people. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the January 2015 attack, saying it was in revenge for Charlie Hebdo's depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.
The country has since been victim to a series of low-tech terror attacks. In July last year a truck plowed into pedestrians celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, killing dozens and injuring many more.
Weeks later an elderly priest was killed as he conducted a Mass in a church in northern France. Then-President Francois Hollande blamed the "cowardly acts" on ISIS-linked terrorists.
The terror threat played an important role in the run-up to last month's French presidential election and the country remained on high alert to the possibility of attacks.
On the eve of the first round of voting in April a police officer was killed and two others wounded when a gunman ambushed the trio on the Champs-Elysees.
France remains in a state of emergency which is set to expire on July 15. But newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron has said he will ask parliament to extend it until November.