"What we feared has happened. We were hit by blind attacks," Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said in the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Brussels on Tuesday (22nd March, 2016). At least 34 people are killed and more than 150 wounded when multiple explosions rocked the Brussels main airport terminal and a Metro station, thus creating panic all across Brussels, Belgium and internationally.
The Paris attacks, 26-year-old suspect Salah Abdeslam was recently arrested in a dramatic raid in Brussels after four months on the run. One of Europe's most wanted men, Abdeslam is a key suspect in the jihadist attacks in Paris in which 130 people died. The raid in the district of Molenbeek came after Abdeslam's fingerprints and DNA were found at the Forest apartment flat in the Brussels district.
Abdeslam, who has been at large since the attacks on 13 November, was wounded in the leg as police moved in. Dramatic footage showed him being bundled into a police car after a volley of gunfire.
The mayor of Molenbeek, Francois Schepmans, confirmed two people were injured in the operation. A third was later captured. Another man arrested, Monir Ahmed Alaaj, was also on the wanted list. Three members of a family accused of harbouring Abdeslam have also been detained.
French President Francois Hollande also expected Abdeslam to be extradited to France "as rapidly as possible".
As the only suspected participant or planner of the Paris attack in police custody, Abdeslam would be seen by investigators as a possible major source of information on others involved, in support networks, finance and links with Islamic State (ISIS). There would also be urgent interest in finding out what further attacks are also planned. Importantly, Belgium’s interior minister Jan Jambon had already expressed that the country was on high alert for a possible revenge attack following the capture of Salah Abdeslam in a flat in Brussels.