Skip to main content

Italy arrests Algerian suspect wanted by Belgium in blast probe

Digital images seized include three men who helped plan Paris attacks, suicide bomber in Brussels
Deadly attacks in Belgium mourned in days following blasts at airport, subway (AFP)

An Algerian national wanted by Belgium in connection with fake ID documents used by the Paris and Brussels attackers was arrested in Italy on Saturday, local media reported, citing police.

Djamal Eddine Ouali, 40, was detained under a European arrest warrant in the southern region of Salerno in a joint operation between anti-terrorist forces and Rome's special operations police, reports said.

He is suspected of being part of a network that produced fake documents for illegal immigration, the AGI news agency reported. Hundreds of digital photographs were then seized from a counterfeiter's workshop, including images of three of those who planned the deadly attacks in Paris in November.

Another photograph was of Najim Laachraoui, a suicide bomber at Brussels airport, reports cited police as saying. The alleged accomplice of the attackers will be extradited to Belgium in coming days, the reports said. 

Nine people have been arrested in Belgium and two in Germany as the investigation continues into the Brussels bombings, which killed at least 31 people, according to The Independent.

Suspicions were raised after local immigration officials checked Ouali's residency permit. Police had been searching for a man with the same name and belonging to the same organisation since 6 January. 

Investigations are ongoing as to how Ouali came to be in Italy and into the networks of which he may have been a part.