Paris suspect Salah Abdeslam still on run after Belgian police raids
时间：2019-07-20 责任编辑：甘凯鄞 来源：pk10全天网页计划 点击：135 次
The Paris attack suspect Salah Abdeslam remains at large after evading a series of late-night police raids in , which is now in its third day of lockdown.
Officials said they have arrested at least 21 suspects in 24 raids since Sunday night aimed at closing down a terrorist network which authorities believe is planning an attack similar to the one which left .
No weapons or explosives were found during the raids, and the failure to capture Abdeslam will further undermine wavering confidence in the competence of Belgium’s counter-terrorism agencies.
Eric van der Sypt, Belgium’s public prosecutor, told a news conference early on Monday that a judge would review the detentions of the first 16 people arrested. A further five arrests were announced later in the day. In one incident police opened fire on a car that was later found in Brussels, but it was not clear if it was linked to the case, van der Sypt said.
“Abdeslam Salah was not found during the raids,” he added.
The French president, François Hollande, and British prime minister, David Cameron, visited the Bataclan concert venue, which saw the worst carnage of the , on Monday morning.
Cameron said he had in Syria, and assistance with refuelling French jets. The prime minister also said he would ask for parliamentary approval for the UK to join airstrikes in Syria.
Hollande, who is heading to Washington and Moscow later this week, is pressing for a stronger international anti-Isis coalition.
The Belgian operation came hours after the prime minister, Charles Michel, announced reinforced security measures and a third day of lockdown in Brussels.
All schools in Europe’s de facto capital have been shut as a precaution and the city’s metro suspended. Local media described the move as historic and unprecedented.
Much of the old centre of Brussels was cordoned off as armed police moved in on Sunday night, backed by soldiers. Helicopters could be heard flying overhead.
Police evacuated restaurants in the centre, blocked off roads and called on residents to stay away from windows.
The Belgian interior minister, Jan Jambon, told RTL radio that the capital was not shutting down completely. “Apart from the closed metro and schools, life goes on in Brussels, the public sector is open for business today, many companies are open,” Jambon said on Monday. The city’s buses were running normally and many shops in the suburbs were open.
The public prosecutor said there were also raids near Liège in the east and Charleroi, south of Brussels, on Sunday night. Other raids took place in Molenbeek, a run-down borough of Brussels where Abdeslam lived.
According to one unconfirmed local press report, the 26-year-old Frenchman and former petty criminal drove through a police cordon near Liège in a luxury car.
At least three of the nine men suspected of carrying out the attacks were based in Brussels. Two men were held by Belgian authorities last week on suspicion of picking up Abdeslam in the French capital and driving him back to Belgium after the attacks, which left hundreds injured.
Michel told a tense press conference on Sunday afternoon: “We still fear attacks here … involving several individuals striking simultaneously in several places,” adding that there were indications that transport systems, commercial centres, shopping streets and busy places were targets.
“We realise that these measures will complicate economic and professional life … and we are doing everything we can to return to normality as soon as possible,” Michel told reporters.
On Saturday the government raised the threat level in and around Brussels to four – the highest level – and deployed hundreds of troops to supplement armed police.
European Union institutions would remain open, although with extra security checks, a spokesman said.
The minister of education, Joëlle Milquet, said the closure of all educational institutions could be extended beyond 24 hours.
“You do not mess around with the security of children and students ... This was the only sure measure of protection that we could take,” she told local TV networks.
Many shops and restaurants remained shut on Sunday in Brussels with few people in the streets. Museums and cinemas were also closed. The likelihood of Britain’s Davis Cup tennis clash with Belgium going ahead on Friday .
“We’ve never had this kind of terrorist threat here before. It’s very unexpected, almost surreal,” said Alinka Le Comte, 26, a shop assistant in the centre of the city.
Earlier in the day tourists continued to throng sights such as the city’s main square.
“It is reassuring to see the police. We are concerned but not frightened,” said Emilio Bravo, who had travelled to Brussels from Alicante, Spain.
However, the Sunday morning market at the city’s Eurostar terminal Gare du Midi – one of the biggest outdoor markets in – was called off. Busy trains from Paris were subjected to extra security measures.
Some security measures may be relaxed or stiffened after a review on Monday afternoon depending on information from counter-terrorism agencies, officials said.
Many in Belgian’s Muslim population, which numbers around 600,000, feared a backlash.
“We are very happy to see the searches and hear about the arrests,” said Dekhili Marouan, a 35-year-old catering worker who arrived in Belgium from Tunisia five years ago. “It’s frightening for everybody. I’m worried too about people here blaming all of us Muslims for this. These people who do this kind of violence, they are not Muslims.”
Belgian officials have rejected widespread criticism of its intelligence services and counter-terrorism efforts.
But news that a Belgian man suspected of undertaking reconnaissance of the targets in the Paris attacks has been held by Turkish police has underlined the country’s role as a base for those behind the plot.
More foreign fighters in Syria come from Belgium than any other EU country in per capita terms. Many have come from Molenbeek, the Brussels borough with a large Muslim population that has long been of concern.
Carine Coquelet, the lawyer of one of the two men detained in Belgum last week, said her client admitted picking up Abdeslam in Paris shortly after the terrorist strike there and driving him back to Brussels. She said Abdeslam may have been wearing a belt of explosives under a coat.
Koen Geens, the justice minister, said the Paris attacks had shown that the profile of potential targets had changed.
“It’s no longer synagogues or the Jewish museums or police stations, it’s mass gatherings and public places.”