Turkey deported jihadist tied to Paris attacks in early 2015
Güven Özalp – BRUSSELSTurkey deported Paris attack suspect Brahim Abdeslam during a failed attempt to join the ranks of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) by crossing the Turkish border into Syria, U.S. media has reported.
Reports by foreign media outlets allege that the two brothers suspected of carrying the deadly attacks on Nov. 13, Salah and Brahim Abdeslam, were questioned by Belgian authorities after the latter was deported from Turkey for suspicions over wanting to join ISIL.
According to unconfirmed reports, Turkish authorities deported 31-year-old Brahim, who blew himself up outside of the Comptoir Voltaire café, early in 2015.
Speaking to the European news website Politico, Eric Van Der Sypt, spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said the brothers were not detained because they “showed no sign of possible threat.”
“He [Brahim Abdeslam] was interrogated on his return, and his brother [Salah Abdeslam] too,” said Van Der Sypt.
However, he could not be detained because “we didn’t have proof that he took part in the activities of a terrorist group,” he added.
Meanwhile, sources from the prosecution told daily Hürriyet that during his interrogation, Ibrahim denied wanting to join ISIL.
“I had no intention of going to Syria, I just wanted to go to Istanbul,” he allegedly stated.
Although Van Der Sypt admitted the Belgian authorities knew the brothers were radicalized and capable of joining ISIL, he said warning French authorities would probably not have made a difference.
“Even if we had signaled them to France, I doubt that we could have stopped them,” he said.
The manhunt continues for Salah Abdeslam who rented a Belgian car and drove shooters to the Bataclan music venue on Nov. 13 where 89 people were killed.