Salah Abdeslam, a chief suspect in last November’s deadly terror attacks in Paris, was captured alive Friday during a raid in Belgium, a Belgian counterterrorism source told CNN.
Abdeslam, 26, was injured in a shootout that ended with his capture in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, a Belgian state broadcaster reported. Two people in total were injured in the raid, the Belgium counterterrorism source said.
Even after Abdeslam’s capture, a police operation at the raided home continued, and two suspects still could be inside, Belgian broadcaster and CNN affiliate VTM reported. About 7 p.m. local time (2 p.m. ET), shots could be heard there, journalist Laila Benallal reported.
Here are the latest developments as of 2:30 p.m. ET:
Report: Shot in the leg
Abdelsam was shot in the leg and has been taken to a hospital, Belgian broadcaster and CNN affiliate VTM reported, citing a police source
A lucky break
CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank told Wolf Blitzer what happened:
“The trail had gone completely cold until Tuesday when police went to an address in Brussels that they believe was linked to the Paris attacks, but they had no idea that Salah Abdeslam or any other terrorists were inside.
“There was a big firefight and two of the terrorists managed to escape. They believe that one of those was probably Salah Abdeslam and then they’ve been working 24/7 since then to try to get him and they have just got him into custody and they have got him alive.
“He will now be put on trial for those Paris attacks.
“A big moment for the families who lost loved ones that day and a big moment for European security services. He represented still a significant threat for some kind of follow-on attack somewhere in Europe.
“He was inside that safe house with a senior Algerian ISIS operative who was one of the ringmasters of the Paris attacks. That Algerian operative, Mohamed Belkaid, was killed by a Belgian police sniper in that operation on Tuesday afternoon.
“He had been giving orders to the Paris attackers during the Paris attacks, including to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, coordinating that whole operation, so very significant moments indeed.”
‘We have him’
“We have him,” tweeted Theo Francken, Belgium’s state secretary for asylum policy and migration. Francken tweeted that message shortly after Paris terror attack suspect Salah Abdeslam was captured in a police raid.
French President Francois Hollande said he and the Belgian Prime Minister were “aware of the ongoing operation in Molenbeek.”
“I hope you will understand we will not disclose too much details for obvious security reasons. The Belgian and French intelligence services are cooperating on the investigation.
“Right now, we are living an important moment, but we ought to let the Belgium police do its work without disturbance,” Hollande said.
Raid two days earlier
Earlier Friday, the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office revealed that Abdeslam’s fingerprints and DNA were found in a Brussels apartment that was raided on Wednesday. One person was killed and two people escaped in that operation, according to authorities.