Belgian detectives find the final pieces in the Paris attacks’ investigation jigsaw

Just over four years since the terrorist attacks in Paris and Saint-Denis on 13 November 2015 detectives in here in Belgium have found the final pieces in the jigsaw to ensure that the investigation into the attack is complete. The news appears in Friday morning’s editions of the dailies ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ and ‘De Morgen’. Journalists from the papers were able to look at the 500 page document drafted by the Paris Judicial Authorities that contains their case against those suspected of having carried out the attack at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis and the Bataclan music venue in the centre of Paris.   

The Paris Judicial Authorities that are specialised in terrorist cases are demanding that 20 suspects be tried before the Court of Assis in the French capital. Most of the names that appear in the document were already known. However, recent work by detectives here in Belgium has served to find a number of missing links and identify a number of crucial figures that worked behind the scenes to facilitate the attacks.  

One such person is a Syrian national known to have made bombs used by islamist terrorists that resided in Belgium for a time. It was he that bought the ingredients used to make the explosives used in the attack. His DNA was also found on the bomb belts worn by the Abdeslam brothers on 13 November 2015. The bomb maker was identified thanks to information from another Syrian that works at a bakery in a village somewhere in Flanders. The informant has no connection to IS. However, some of his relatives do and he met with Belgian detectives to provide them with the information about the bomb-maker last year.    

He also identified a second man, Obeida Aref Dibo that was detained by the French Judicial authorities last month. He is suspected of having trained the terrorists that were involved in the attack.

The final piece in the jigsaw is the role that Oussama Atar, a Moroccan from Brussels, played in the plot. The French Judicial Authorities believe that he masterminded the attacks. Here too Belgian detectives were able to provide their French colleagues with important extra information. The information came from a jihadi that had returned to Belgium from Syria and was questioned by Belgian detectives. Oussama Atar has been identified as the mysterious Abu Ahmed, the man that the attackers said was their leader. The French Judicial Authorities as prosecuting him as the leader of the terrorist plot.   

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