Paris attacks 'ringleader' extradited to France to stand trial
The suspected ringleader of last year's deadly Paris attacks has been extradited to France where he will stand trial for the attacks that killed 130 in the French capital, the prosecutor's office has confirmed.
A Belgium Federal Prosecutor's Office statement said the suspect was handed over to French authorities on Wednesday morning under a March 19 European arrest warrant.
Belgian-born Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving suspect in the November attacks that rocked Paris, was arrested by security forces in Brussels 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.
Thirty-two people were killed and 270 wounded when suicide bombers detonated explosives at a Brussels’ airport and subway in March.