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The New Arab

Paris attacker 'chose not to blow himself up'

Salah Abdeslam went on the run for four months before being arrested by police [Getty]

Date of publication: 2 April, 2016

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The sole surviving culprit behind last year's string of Paris attacks decided not to detonate himself as planned, Abdeslam told his brother.

The suspected "ringleader" of the Paris attacks chose not to detonate his explosives during the wave of attacks in Paris last year, his brother has revealed.

Mohamed Abdeslam said his brother, Salah, "voluntarily chose not to blow himself up" along with the other Islamic State group-allied militants who killed 130 people in gun and suicide bomb attacks across the French capital last November.

"If I wanted, there would have been more victims," Salah Abdeslam told his brother from prison, according to Belgian media chain BFMTV.

"Luckily, I did not follow through."

Belgian-born Salah Abdelam is the only surviving suspect in the November attacks that rocked Paris.

The 26-year-old was arrested in Brussels when security forces closed in on him after four months on the run as Europe's most wanted man.

The dramatic operation entailed a shoot-out at an apartment in Molenbeek near central Brussels and ended with the fugitive being shot and arrested.

Belgium's asylum and migration minister, Theo Francken, confirmed the arrest in a blunt tweet.

"We got him," the Belgian posted.

Abdeslam is believed to be the logistics coordinator of the attacks and revealed his plans to carry out a suicide attack at the Stad de France stadium before backing out.

The assailant fled the scene in Paris after dropping off the militants who went on to carry out the attacks. He was then thought to have been driven to Brussels, passing at least three police checkpoints on the way without being caught.

Four days after the arrest, the Belgian capital was hit with bombings by militants with links to the Paris attacks cell.

Abdeslam allegedly told his brother he was willing to cooperate with investigators, but denied any role in the Brussels bombings.

He is expected to be extradited to France to stand trial.

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