UPDATE 11:40 a.m. EDT — Belgian prosecutors formally charged Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in November's Paris terror attacks, with involvement in terrorist murder Saturday, Reuters reported. The charges come one day after Abdeslam was taken into custody along with two other men. One of the men, identified only as Abid A., was charged with being a member of a terrorist organization and aiding and abetting criminals.
UPDATE: 9:40 a.m. EDT — Salah Abdeslam, one of the surviving suspects in last year's Paris terrorist attack who was arrested in Belgium Friday, will oppose a transfer to France, his lawyer told Agence France-Presse. Abdeslam was scheduled to be briefly questioned by Belgian authorities Saturday before quickly being transferred to France. He is suspected of helping plan, coordinate and carry out the Nov. 13 massacre that killed 130 people in attacks later attributed to the Islamic State terrorist group.
UPDATE: 2:33 p.m. EDT — A raid continued Friday after Brussels police apprehended Salah Abdeslam, the prime surviving suspect from last year’s deadly terrorist attack in Paris. Two explosions were heard in the Brussels neighborhood where police were conducting their search, the Associated Press reported on Twitter.
BREAKING: 2 explosions heard in Brussels neighborhood where police are searching for additional suspect.
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 18, 2016
Senior officials in Europe have confirmed Abdeslam was one of two people arrested during the anti-terror raid, the Washington Post reported. Abdeslam, 26, is believed to have helped orchestrate the attacks in Paris and driven the suicide bombers to the Stade de France. He, too, may have intended to become a suicide bomber, investigators have said, before backing out at the last minute.
Terror suspect Salah Abdeslam was taken into custody Friday during a raid in Brussels, local media outlets are reporting. The fugitive, one of the most wanted terrorists, is reportedly wounded. The reports have not been officially confirmed.
Shots were heard during the raid in the Belgian capital. Abdeslam, 26, is a prime suspect in last November’s Paris attacks, which left some 130 people dead. His fingerprints were found Tuesday in a Brussels apartment. He is a Brussels native and is believed to be linked to the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks.
Abdeslam is suspected of having helped transport three suicide bombers to the Stade de France, where they blew themselves up. He is also believed to have bought the detonators. Investigators have questioned whether he planned to carry out an attack as well but backed out at the last minute.
— LeCoMax (@lecomaxnews) March 18, 2016
French President François Hollande said he was aware an operation was underway in Brussels, but he could not confirm whether Abdeslam was injured or captured, the Guardian reported.
Abdeslam reportedly stayed at an apartment in north Brussels for about three weeks following the attacks as a regional manhunt was launched to secure his capture. Police have gradually uncovered more information on where he went following the attacks, but until Friday, it remained publicly unknown whether he was still in Europe. Television footage from Brussels on Friday showed heavily armed security forces guarding a street near where the raid occurred.
— The Irish Times (@IrishTimes) March 18, 2016
The coordinated attacks in Paris marked the first major terrorist attack carried out by the Syria- and Iraq-based extremist group, also known as ISIS, in Europe. The attacks prompted widespread security concerns throughout the continent and influenced countries to vow a more active campaign against the extremist group.
Several other suspects in the attacks remain at large.