Belgium reportedly ignored possible link between Abdeslam, IS

Belgium reportedly ignored possible link between Abdeslam, IS

PanARMENIAN.Net - Belgium ignored a possible link between Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam and the Islamic State (IS) group just weeks ahead of the massacre that killed 130 people, broadcaster RTBF reported Tuesday, May 17, according to AFP.

The authorities had spotted a post on Facebook they thought belonged to Abdeslam featuring the Islamic State flag three weeks before the November 13 attacks, but failed to follow up, according to the Belgian broadcaster.

Although the national terror threat centre was told about the post in October, security officials didn't take a closer look, RTBF said, citing a leaked parliamentary report.

The secret report, based on interviews by lawmakers with senior officials and police, looks back at the series of failures ahead of the attacks, AFP says.

RTBF said later on Tuesday that police eventually determined the Facebook page did not belong to Abdeslam, without giving further details.

The revelation is the latest example of alleged failures by Belgian police in the months leading up to the attacks in the French capital.

RTBF also said Abdeslam was known to have been in contact in early 2015 with suspected attacks ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who was already known as an important IS figure.

Both men, as well as several others involved in the attacks, are from the gritty district of Molenbeek in Brussels.

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