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Sole Surviving Paris Attacks Suspect Found Guilty Over Brussels Shootout, Handed 20-Year Sentence

Salah Abdeslam
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The only surviving suspect from the 2015 Islamic State Paris terror attacks has been convicted in a Belgian court.

Salah Abdeslam was found guilty of attempted murder on Monday morning in relation to his role in a shootout with Belgian police in 2016 and has been sentenced to the maximum 20 years in prison.

His co-defendant, Sofien Ayari, was also convicted of terror-related attempted murder after the pair fired on officers who raided a flat where they were hiding out in after months on the run.

The court said the “terror character” of the shooting was clearly established and that that the danger emanating from Salah Abdeslam “remains intact,” according to the Associated Press.

Abdeslam and his Islamic State cell killed 130 and wounded over 400 people in a series of gun and suicide bomb attacks in the French capital on the 13th of November 2015, before he fled to his home-city of Brussels, the capital of the European Union (EU).

Four months later, police investigating a terrorist safe house in the Molenbeek neighbourhood of Brussels were fired upon. They responded and killed one terrorist, before identifying Abdeslam’s fingerprints and other clues that led them to him in a nearby property.

The police had originally been searching for two brothers who went on to launch a series of bomb attacks at a Brussels train station and airport days later, and weapons and Islamic State flags were found at the flat.

Abdeslam has been charged with involvement with the Paris attacks as well as firing on police in Brussels, and is currently being held in a French jail.

He only attended the first day of the trial in Belgium and has refused to answer questions since.

The conclusion of the case at Brussels’ ornate palace of justice took place amid tight security set up by the armed forces and police.

Abdeslam has received fan mail since he has been imprisoned, including from women who “want to carry his child.” At the beginning of last year, he said he is “not ashamed” of himself in a letter to one admirer.

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