Report: Belgian police lacked funds to monitor Abdeslam brothers

A Belgian investigation into last year's terrorist attacks in Paris found that one of the perpetrators, Brahim Abdeslam, and his brother Salah had not been placed under sufficient surveillance due to a lack of funds, media reported Tuesday.

On November 13, 130 people were killed in attacks on restaurants, bars, a sports stadium and a concert hall in Paris. Several of the perpetrators had links to Belgium, including the Abdeslam brothers who had both lived in Brussels.

Brahim Abdeslam blew himself up in the attacks. His brother, Salah, was sought by police for months until his arrest on March 18 in the Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek. Four days later, suicide bombers attacked the Belgian capital, killing more than 30 people.

The Belgian parliament's police monitoring body has been carrying out an investigation relating to the Paris attacks, an interim report of which was presented to lawmakers on Tuesday.

The Abdeslam brothers had been interrogated by police in early 2015, due to suspicions that they had wanted to travel to Syria, but they were released at the time without charges.

Prosecutors had called on the police anti-terrorist unit to monitor the brothers' phonecalls and emails. But according to the interim report, a copy of which was seen by Le Soir newspaper, there was not sufficient funding available to carry out the surveillance.

The Belgian parliamentary committee examining the report called Tuesday on the police to answer to the findings, the Belga news agency reported. Only then will it analyze the report in detail, which is due to take place next week.

Last update: Tue, 26/04/2016 - 20:16

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