Morocco arrests Belgian man linked to Paris attackers

A Belgian man arrested in Morocco last week had a "direct relationship" to the ISIS terrorists who killed 130 people in coordinated attacks in Paris last November.

However, the statement did not clarify what type of relationship he had with the Paris attackers.

The ministry said the person arrested "built solid ties with Islamic State leaders, including the ringleader of the Paris attacks".

Pieter Van Ostaeyen, who monitors the activities of Belgian jihadis and extremists, said Attar, 26, was also from Molenbeek, and that he left Belgium for Syria on January 4, 2013 in the company of Akrouh.

No details were provided about the identity of the suspect, who was identified in the statement by his initials in Arabic, which could be translated as either J.

A spokesperson for the Moroccan Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations said Attar is from Molenbeek, Belgium, and knew the Paris attackers well. He has been linked to Salah Abdeslam, a key suspect in the attacks.

The man is alleged to have travelled to Syria along with one of the suicide bombers who blew himself up in the northern Paris district of Saint-Denis, near the Stade de France national stadium.

On leaving Syria he passed through Turkey, Germany, Belgium and then the Netherlands before returning to Morocco.

Attar was being held in Sale, close to the Moroccan capital, Rabat, the spokesperson said.

A number of suspects in the attacks were Belgian citizens, and investigators surmise the attacks were planned in Brussels.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the suspected mastermind of the Paris terror attacks on November 13, 2015, waves an Islamic State flag in this undated picture taken from a magazine published by IS.

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