BRUSSELS: The brother of key Paris attack suspect Salah Abdeslam on Tuesday urged his brother to surrender as police in France and Belgium stepped up their hunt for the fugitive.
“I advise him to surrender to the police,” his brother Mohamed Abdeslam, who was himself arrested and freed without charge in Belgium, told France´s BFMTV news channel.
“The best thing would be for him to surrender so that the legal system can shed full light on the case. I remind you that Salah has never been able to tell his side of the story to the police and that he is therefore presumed innocent.”
France says that the “dangerous” Salah Abdeslam is wanted in connection with Friday´s attacks and that a third brother, Brahim, was one of the suicide attackers who launched the carnage in Paris.
Belgian police had detained Mohamed Abdeslam on Saturday as part of a wave of arrests but he was freed without charge on Monday along with four other suspects. Two further suspects were charged with involvement with terrorism.
“We are a family. We are thinking about him. We are wondering where he is, and if he is frightened, and if he is eating,” the brother said.
Mohamed Abdeslam told Belgium´s RTL television at his family home in Brussels on Monday that “he grew up here, studied here, he is a totally normal lad.”