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Paris suspect Abdeslam will 'cooperate' with French authorities: Lawyer

France has also charged the main suspect in a foiled Paris attack plot, with Belgium launching fresh raids
Belgium security services have been on high alert since the deadly attacks on 22 March killed more than 30 people in the capital (AFP)

Key Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam is willing to cooperate with French authorities and wants to be extradited from Belgium to France, his lawyer said on Thursday.

A prosecutor was set to travel to the prison in the city of Bruges where Abdeslam is being held to discuss his extradition under a European arrest warrant.

"He wants to cooperate with the French authorities," lawyer Cedric Moisse said.

Abdeslam, a Belgian-born French citizen, was known as Europe's most wanted man and was captured on 18 March in Brussels after spending four months on the run following the November suicide bombings and gun attacks in Paris in which 130 people were killed.

He is believed to be the last survivor from the cell of 10 men who carried out the massacre.

Abdeslam has not spoken to investigators since Brussels was hit last week by attacks at the airport and a metro station that were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. He has links to several of those involved in the suicide bombings, which killed 32 people.

Since the attacks, authorities in Europe have launched a series of raids that have uncovered a number of alleged IS supporters and an IS network pervading France, Belgium and also Germany.

Raids took place in Belgium on Thursday with details still emerging, Belgium media reported.

"A raid is under way in connection with the [Reda] Kriket case. It is taking place at Marke, in the town of Courtrai" in northwestern Belgium, Eric Van Der Sypt, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor's office, told AFP, referring to foiled attack in Paris that came to light last week after a string of arrests there. 

French national Reda Kriket, 34, was arrested near Paris last week after police found a stash of assault rifles, handguns and TATP, the highly volatile homemade explosive favoured by IS members in his home.

France has now charged Kriket, the main suspect in the foiled attack plot, with membership of a terrorist organisation.

The French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve has said there was “no tangible evidence” linking the plot to the attacks either in Paris or Brussels, but the various alleged attacks are believed to have some kind of links to IS.

State prosecutor Francois Molins said on Wednesday that "no specific target" had been identified for the foiled attack, but the cache of weapons showed an imminent act of "extreme violence" had likely been prevented.

Another French suspect, 32-year-old Anis Bahri, was arrested in Rotterdam in the Netherlands on Sunday in connection with the foiled Paris plot and is fighting extradition to France.

Both Kriket and Bahri are believed to have travelled to Syria in late 2014 or early 2015, and since then between France, Belgium and the Netherlands, the French prosecutor said.

Two other suspects - Abderrahmane Ameroud, 38, and Rabah M, aged 34 - have been charged in Belgium over the foiled plot and will be held for another week, the country's federal prosecutor said. 

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