Suspect in Paris terrorist attack who hid out in gay bars arrested in Brussels

Salah Abdeslam

Salah Abdeslam

BRUSSELS — After an intense four-month manhunt across Europe and beyond, police on Friday captured the top fugitive in the Paris attacks in the same Brussels neighborhood where he grew up.

Abdeslam was shot in the leg and detained by police during a raid in Molenbeek, said Ahmed El Khannouss, the neighborhood’s deputy mayor.

Police are still searching for another suspect who is holed up in a house that is just a few dozen yards from two schools, he added. Helmeted police with riot shields have cordoned off the area.

Brussels-born Abdeslam, 26, was among the attackers who killed 130 people at a rock concert, the national stadium and cafes on Nov. 13 in Paris.

In addition to Abdeslam, the whereabouts of two Paris attack suspects remains unknown, including fellow Molenbeek resident Mohamed Abrini and a man known under the alias of Soufiane Kayal.

Friday’s caputure of Abdeslam comes after Belgian authorities say they found his fingerprints in an apartment raided earlier this week in another Brussels neighborhood.

In that raid, a man believed to have been an accomplice of Abdeslam — Mohamed Belkaid — was shot dead, Belgian prosecutors say. But two men escaped from the apartment, one of whom appears to have been Abdeslam.

Federal prosecutor Eric Van der Sypt said it was possible Abdeslam had spent “days, weeks or months,” in the apartment.

Abdeslam fled Paris after the Nov. 13 attacks. Most of the Paris attackers died that night, including Abdeslam’s brother Brahim, who blew himself up. Brahim Abdeslam was buried in the area Thursday.

Salah Abdeslam, a childhood friend of suspected ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud, is believed to have driven a group of gunmen who took part.

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