France charges accomplice of Paris attacker Abdeslam

AP News
Posted: Jun 30, 2016 8:46 AM

PARIS (AP) — French authorities have handed preliminary terrorism charges to a Belgian accused of helping Salah Abdeslam, the only known surviving member of the Islamic State team that attacked Paris last year.

Belgian officials said they transferred Hamza Attou, 22, on Wednesday to France in connection with a French arrest warrant. The Paris prosecutor's office said Thursday that Attou was given preliminary charges of "helping a terrorist criminal linked to a terrorist act," and then jailed.

Abdeslam fled after the November attacks on Paris, was arrested in Brussels after four months on the run and extradited to France.

Attou and another suspected accomplice, Mohammed Amri, drove to Paris in the hours after the attacks and brought Abdeslam back to the Belgian capital. Attou and Amri were arrested shortly afterward and charged in Belgium with "participating in terrorist activity."

Attou's Belgian lawyer said her client went on the trip just to keep the driver company.

According to internal French police documents, searches involving Amri and Attou netted shells of 5.56 and 7.62 mm caliber, fertilizer, two hard drives and a military-type backpack.