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Brother of suspected Paris attacks planner extradited to France

Stephane de Sakutin, AFP | A plaque commemorating the victims of the Nov. 13, 2015, terrorist attacks in Paris.

The brother of the suspected mastermind of the Paris terror attacks of 2015 has been handed over by Belgium to French authorities, Belgian prosecutors said Tuesday.

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Yassine Atar is the brother of Osama Atar, who is suspected to have planned the Paris massacre from Syria and has never been arrested.

The 31-year-old Yassine was imprisoned in Belgium after his arrest in Brussels at the end of March 2016.

"He was extradited to France under an international arrest warrant (issued in Paris) and will remain there in pre-trial detention," Eric Van Der Sypt, the spokesman for Belgian federal prosecutors told AFP.

The French arrest warrant means that magistrates in charge of investigating the Paris attacks, that killed 130 people, wish to interrogate Yassine Atar with a view to a probable indictment.

Atar is also cousin to Ibrahim and Khalid el-Bakraoui, brothers who set off suicide bombs in Brussels in March 2016, which killed 32 people.

Media reports said Atar was found at the time of his arrest with keys to a Brussels hideout that was used to build the bombs for the Brussels assaults and possibly the Paris attacks.

This hideout is also one that sheltered Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving member of the group that carried out the Paris attacks, during the four months he spent on the run.

(AFP)

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