Brother of Paris attacks suspect speaks to press

Brussels, Nov 17 (IANS) The brother of two of the suspects in the Paris attacks, who was freed from police custody without any charge, has said he had noticed “absolutely nothing” different about his brothers — one of whom died in a suicide bombing and the other is on the run.

“I was in no way linked to what happened on Friday in Paris, from near or far,” Xinhua quoted Mohamed Abdeslam as saying outside his home in Molenbeek, Brussels, on Monday.

Abdeslam’s brother Brahim carried out a suicide bombing in Paris on Friday. His other brother, Salah, is the subject of an international arrest warrant.

Asked where he was on Friday night, Abdeslam replied: “I have an alibi all evening.”

His lawyer, Nathalie Gallant, said her client was in Belgian city of Liege on Friday evening with a business partner, with whom he is working on the renovation of a lounge bar. She said telephone records confirmed his presence there.

Abdeslam said: “We are an open family. We have never had a problem with the law. My parents are in shock and have not fully come to terms with what has happened.”

He added that he had noticed “absolutely nothing” different about his two brothers. As for the whereabouts of his brother Salah, he told reporters: “We do not know where he is. We do not know if he dares to surrender himself or not.”

“My family and I are moved by what happened. We found out about it in the same way as many of you. We did not think for one moment that one of my brothers was linked to the attacks. We were thinking of the victims and their families,” he said.

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