Moroccan authorities arrest Belgian linked to Paris attacks

Moroccan authorities have arrested a Belgian national suspected of having "direct links" with the perpetrators of November's terrorist attacks in Paris as well as Islamic State, the Interior Ministry said Monday.

The Belgian man of Moroccan origin was arrested on Friday in the city of Mohammadia, 100 kilometres south of the capital, Rabat.

The person - whose identity has not been released - has been linked to the mastermind of the November 13 attacks in the French capital, according to an Interior Ministry statement.

While the investigation is still under way, the ministry said the suspect is believed to have traveled from Belgium to Syria with one of the eventual suicide bombers in the Paris attacks.

He was first affiliated with the Syrian al-Nusra front, an al-Qaeda affiliate, before he joined the Islamic State terrorist militia where he received training, the statement said.

He is also believed to have travelled through Turkey, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands before being arrested in Morocco.

The November attacks left 130 dead after gunmen and suicide bombers targeted a concert hall, a major stadium, restaurants and bars in nearly simultaneous actions.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a 28-year-old Belgian national of Moroccan origin, was suspected of masterminding and participating in the attacks. He was shot dead on November 18 during a police raid in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis.

Last update: Mon, 18/01/2016 - 21:22

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