Brother urges key Paris suspect to surrender

UPDATED: The brother of one of the key Paris attack suspects has urged his brother to surrender, hours after French police identified a hotel room used by the terrorists before the attacks.

Brother urges key Paris suspect to surrender
New image of the most wanted man in Europe has been released. Photo: Belgian Police

Main developments on Wednesday

  • Wanted attacker Salah Abdelslam rented hotel room before attacks
  • Needles and syringes found in hotel room
  • Apartment in Paris suburb of Bobigny also rented out pre-attacks
  • Third car linked to attacks found in 18th arrondissement
  • New image of Abdelslam released by police in Belgium
  • Abdelsmalm's brother urges him to surrender

The brother of key Paris attack suspect Salah Abdeslam on Tuesday urged his brother to surrender as police in France and Belgium stepped up their hunt for the fugitive.

“I advise him to surrender to the police,” his brother Mohamed Abdeslam, who was himself arrested and freed without charge in Belgium, told France's BFMTV news channel, adding that it would allow the “legal system to shed light” on the case.
“I remind you that Salah has never been able to tell his side of the story to the police and that he is therefore presumed innocent.”

As police around Europe continue to hunt for Abdelslam, it has emerged that he rented out a hotel room along with another individual before the attacks.

Abdelslam, the brother of the man police named as the Comptoir Voltaire suicide bomber and is the subject of an international arrest warrant.

The room was rented out at a hotel in Alfortville, a suburb to the south west of Paris, from 11th to 17th of November.

According to Le Point news site, numerous syringes and needles were fond in the room. It is not clear whether they were used to make bomb vests or whether the attacks were taking drugs.

French police and their counterparts from Belgium continue to hunt for Abdelslam, who is believed to have been the “eighth attacker” involved in the worst terror attack committed on French soil.

Abdelslam is believed to have taken part in the shootings on the terraces of the bar Le Carillon, the nearby restaurant Casa Nostro and the Belle Equipe, where 19 died.

It has also emerged a second safe house was used in the Paris suburb of Bobigny, that was also rented out by Salah Abdelslam, through the site Homelie days.

Three men who stayed at the house told the property’s owner that they were from a Belgian security company.

An international arrest warrant and appeal for information was issued for Salah Abdeslam on Sunday, with police warning that he was dangerous and probably armed.

On Monday police in Brussels staged a huge operation in the suburb of Molenbeek, where Abdelslam was believed to have been holed up but the operation ended without success.

And on Monday night there were reports that the wanted jihadist had been spotted in Strasbourg but after police carried searches of numerous apartments it was dismissed as a false alarm.

Abdelslam's brother Mohamed had been arrested in Belgium on Saturday but was released on Monday without charge.

Speaking after being released Mohamed said he did not know where he was, adding that his sibling was a “normal lad”.

“As far as my brother is concerned, we don't know where he is right now,” Mohamed Abdeslam told Belgium's RTL television at his family home in Brussels after he was released by police without charge after two days in detention.

“He grew up here, studied here, he is a totally normal lad.”

France says that the “dangerous” Salah Abdeslam is wanted in connection with Friday's attacks in Paris and that a third brother, Brahim, was one of the suicide attackers who launched Friday's carnage.

“None of us knew anything. Not us, not our family. They are big boys, they are grown-ups. You don't ask them what they're doing every time they leave the house,” said Mohamed.


Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim’s x-ray

A Paris court on Wednesday convicted a surgeon for trying to sell an X-Ray image of a wounded arm of a woman who survived the 2015 terror attacks in the French capital.

Surgeon fined for trying to sell Paris terror attack victim's x-ray

Found guilty of violating medical secrecy, renowned orthopaedic surgeon Emmanuel Masmejean must pay the victim €5,000 or face two months in jail, judges ordered.

Masmejean, who works at the Georges-Pompidou hospital in western Paris, posted the image of a young woman’s forearm penetrated by a Kalashnikov bullet on marketplace Opensea in late 2021.

The site allows its roughly 20 million users to trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs) – certificates of ownership of an artwork that are stored on a “blockchain” similar to the technology used to secure cryptocurrencies.

In the file’s description, the surgeon wrote that the young woman he had operated on had “lost her boyfriend in the attack” on the Bataclan concert hall, the focus of the November 2015 gun and bomb assault in which jihadists killed 130 people.

The X-Ray image never sold for the asking price of $2,776, and was removed from Opensea after being revealed by investigative website Mediapart in January.

Masmejean claimed at a September court hearing that he had been carrying out an “experiment” by putting a “striking and historic medical image” online – while acknowledging that it had been “idiocy, a mistake, a blunder”.

The court did not find him guilty of two further charges of abuse of personal data and illegally revealing harmful personal information.

Nor was he barred from practicing as prosecutors had urged, with the lead judge saying it would be “disproportionate and inappropriate” to inflict such a “social death” on the doctor.

The victim’s lawyer Elodie Abraham complained of a “politically correct” judgement.

“It doesn’t bother anyone that there’s been such a flagrant breach of medical secrecy. It’s not a good message for doctors,” Abraham said.

Neither Masmejean, who has been suspended from his hospital job, nor the victim were present for Wednesday’s ruling.

The surgeon may yet face professional consequences after appearing before the French medical association in September, his lawyer Ivan Terel said.