Belgian authorities have detained and charged a ninth suspect in the Paris terrorist attacks in November that killed 130 people, authorities said Thursday. The suspect has been identified only as Abdoullah C., a 30-year-old Belgian citizen.
He was detained Tuesday near the Molenbeek neighborhood in Brussels -- an area where several Paris attack suspects lived or frequented. Charges for the suspect included "terrorist murders and participation in the activities of a terrorist organisation."
The federal prosecutor’s office in Brussels said authorities waited to announce the arrests in an effort to avoid alerting potential accomplices. A manhunt for Salah Abdeslam, 26, is still underway. Abdeslam is a French citizen who was born in Belgium, and is considered to be the only person directly involved in the attacks who is still alive.
Because so many of the terror suspects had ties to Belgium, Belgian authorities have been under intense scrutiny and pressure to find and detain terrorists associated with the country.
Belgium’s King Philippe delivered a pre-recorded annual Christmas message Thursday, in which he addressed the attacks and the relationship of the attackers to Belgium.
“We continue, unfortunately, to be marked by the dramatic attacks perpetrated in Paris, and realize the dangers that continue to weigh on us,” the monarch said. “The recent events proved how important it is to invest in justice, the police, the army and intelligence services.”
Philippe added that most immigrants in Belgium shared Belgian values.
“It seems important to me to return to the foundation of our society, to what we most wish to hold on to: our values and the rules of coexistence. This implies that we teach our children to respect different religions and philosophical convictions. What they all share is the desire to give meaning to life, to respect others and to be open toward them,” Philippe said. “Respecting these common rules also implies zero tolerance toward hate speech. It means fighting, day after day, all forms of stigmatization and segregation, and helping people who are drawn to fanatical indoctrination to resist.”