Belgian with ‘direct links’ to Paris attackers arrested

Rabat, Jan 19 (IANS) A Belgian man with “direct links” to Paris attackers was arrested near Casablanca city of Morocco, the country’s Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The man of Moroccan descent, arrested on Friday, was not named, with authorities only releasing his initials “GA” in Arabic, Xinhua reported.

The suspect had travelled from Belgium to Syria with one of the Saint-Denis suicide bombers to fight Al-Nusra Front before joining the Islamic State (IS), the ministry said.

He had received military training on the use of different types of arms and guerrilla tactics before being sent to one of the conflict fronts, it added.

During his time in Syria, the arrested man formed close ties with the IS leaders, including the mastermind of Paris attacks, who issued threats to carry out terrorist attacks in France and Belgium, the ministry said.

It also said the suspect left Syria and returned to Belgium via Turkey and Germany, and he entered Morocco from the Netherlands.

The suspect will be referred to justice after completion of investigation, it said.

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