Belgian of Moroccan descent, arrested in Paris attacks probe, fought in Syria

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Police in Morocco have arrested a Belgian national of Moroccan descent in connection with the November terror attacks in Paris.

Gelel Attar
Gelel Attar

Gelel Attar was arrested on Jan. 15 in the city of Mohammedia, the Moroccan Interior Ministry said. The ministry said Attar had received training from Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) in Syria.

Attar fought on the battlefield in Syria and formed relationships with the terror group’s commanders, including Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the ringleader of the Paris attacks that killed 130 people.

“He went to Syria with one of the suicide bombers of Saint Denis,” the ministry said.

Authorities said Attar was trained by ISIL in guerrilla tactics and to handle several different weapons. He left Syria through Turkey, Germany, Belgium and then Netherlands from where he traveled to Morocco.

Morocco provided the tip that led French police to locate Abaaoud. France has been holding Abaaoud’s brother, Yassine, since October and is still looking for Salah Abdeslam, who is suspected of taking part in the attacks and is on the run.