A CCTV camera at a gas station in Northern France captured images of the suspected terrorist and two accomplices on their way to Brussels some 12 hours following the deadly attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. The photos were published by the French BFM TV.
Salah Abdeslam and companion Hamza Attou appear relaxed in the footage, with hands in pockets, possibly under the influence of marijuana, as Attou’s legal defender revealed after his client’s detention in Brussels the same day. Mohamed Amri, a second accomplice to Abdeslam, is seen in the video refueling the car.
The VW Golf used by the men was reportedly stopped by police and gendarmes three times on their way to Belgium, but each time released as their names did not appear in a list of suspects.
On November 14, two Belgian citizens later identified as Hamza Attou and Mohamed Amri, were detained in connection with the Paris attacks. Their belongings tested positive for ammonium nitrate, a chemical used to manufacture explosives. Later, weapon munitions – 5.56- and 7.62-mm cartridges – were found in their apartment. The latter are notably used in Kalashnikov automatic rifles similar to those used in the Paris attacks.
Last Friday, Belgian prosecutors found the fingerprints of Salah Abdeslam during a raid in another flat in Brussels, the prosecutor’s office said. According to the statement, the apartment, which had been rented by a person with counterfeit documents, also contained three explosive belts. Abdeslam, wanted by Interpol, reportedly fled to Syria after briefly residing in the Belgian capital after the attacks.