Moroccan authorities arrest Belgian linked to Paris attacks

Moroccan authorities have arrested a Belgian national suspected of having "direct links" with the perpetrators of November's terrorist attacks in Paris as well as Islamic State, the Interior Ministry said Monday.

The Belgian man of Moroccan origin was arrested on Friday in the city of Mohammadia, 100 kilometres south of the capital, Rabat.

The person - whose identity has not been released - has been linked to the mastermind of the November 13 attacks in the French capital, according to an Interior Ministry statement.

While the investigation is still under way, the ministry said the suspect is believed to have traveled from Belgium to Syria with one of the eventual suicide bombers in the Paris attacks.

He was first affiliated with the Syrian al-Nusra front, an al-Qaeda affiliate, before he joined the Islamic State terrorist militia where he received training, the statement said.

He is also believed to have travelled through Turkey, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands before being arrested in Morocco.

The November attacks left 130 dead after gunmen and suicide bombers targeted a concert hall, a major stadium, restaurants and bars in nearly simultaneous actions.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a 28-year-old Belgian national of Moroccan origin, was suspected of masterminding and participating in the attacks. He was shot dead on November 18 during a police raid in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis.

Last update: Mon, 18/01/2016 - 21:22

More from Europe

Police suspect tear gas in London City airport "chemical incident"

Police said they suspected CS gas could have caused a "chemical incident" that led to a three-hour evacuation of ...

EU summit fails to break Belgian impasse over Canada trade deal

EU leaders ended two days of talks Friday with a failure to break a regional blockade to a landmark deal the bloc is...

Germany's economy "has many problems," Italian premier Renzi says

Germany has "many" economic problems, including a large trade surplus which violates European Union rules, the...

Tusk: EU leaders agree on need for better tools against cheap imports

EU leaders have made progress on ramping up the bloc's protection against unfairly cheap imports, European Council...

Catalonia to uphold bullfighting ban despite veto by top court

The Spanish region of Catalonia wants to uphold its ban on bullfighting despite the ban being overturned by the...