Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Paris attacks accomplice identified

21 March 2016, 19:40

Brussels - Belgian prosecutors on Monday said they had discovered the real identity of an accomplice in the Paris attacks as they met French counterparts to discuss the probe into November's carnage.

The accomplice was named as Najim Laachraoui, 24 - previously known by the false name Soufiane Kayal - which he used to travel to Hungary in September with Saleh Abdeslam, the key suspect who was finally arrested in a dramatic raid on Friday.

Laachraoui, who also travelled to Syria in February 2013, is still on the run.

New leads

French President Francois Hollande, who has said he wants Abdeslam extradited as quickly as possible, was due to hold his first formal meeting with relatives of the 130 Paris victims on Monday afternoon.

"The president, in light of recent events, will update them on what is happening," the presidential palace said.

Investigators hope Abdeslam's arrest in Brussels on Friday, in which he was wounded in the leg, will give new leads on the attacks claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.

Abdeslam, the last known survivor of the group that carried out the attacks, was found just around the corner from his family home in the gritty Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek, from where several other of the attackers hailed.

Belgium has faced heavy criticism for failing to keep tabs on Islamic radicals there.

The investigation is now widening and Hollande has said that the network involved in the Paris attacks was much bigger than previously thought.

Series of issues

French prosecutor Francois Molins will meet his Belgian counterpart Frederic van Leeuw and hold a media conference later on Monday, the federal prosecutors' office said.

Molins said at the weekend that Abdeslam played a "central role" in the attacks and originally planned to "blow himself up" at the Stade de France stadium but changed his mind.

"These first statements, which should be taken cautiously, leave a whole series of issues that Salah Abdeslam must explain," he added.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said on Sunday that Abdeslam - who has been charged with "terrorist murder" and belonging to a terrorist group - had already told investigators he was planning some sort of new attack in Brussels.

"That may be the reality because we have found a lot of weapons, heavy weapons, in the first investigations and we have found a new network around him in Brussels," Reynders told a panel discussion in Brussels.

Two more suspects are wanted over the Paris attacks: Mohamed Abrini, who became friends with Abdeslam when they were teenagers and Laachraoui.

Police raid

Prosecutors said Laachraoui's DNA had been found at an apartment used by the Paris attackers that he rented under a false name in Auvelais, near the central Belgian city of Namur and at another suspected hideout in Schaarbeek, a district of Brussels.

He used the same false name at the border between Austria and Hungary on September 9 when he was travelling with Abdeslam and Mohamed Belkaid.

Belkaid, a 35-year-old Algerian, was shot dead in a police raid in the Forest district of Brussels on Tuesday.

Abdeslam meanwhile spent his second night in solitary confinement in the high-security prison in Bruges, the historic tourist town about an hour's drive north of Brussels.

The prison also holds Mehdi Nemmouche who killed four people in an attack on the Jewish Museum in central Brussels in 2014 and who was extradited from France back to Belgium to face trial.



Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...