A Belgian man accused of being linked to the ISIS terrorists who massacred 130 people in Paris has been arrested in Morocco.
Government bosses say the man, who is of Moroccan origin, was arrested in the town of Al-Muhammadiyah near the city of Casablanca.
Morocco’s interior minister gave only the militant’s initial in Arabic and said he fought in Syria with al-Nusra front before joining ISIS.
The suspect spent time in Syria getting military training and building relationships with IS field commanders, ‘including the mastermind’ of the Paris attacks, and others who threatened attacks in France and Belgium, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said in a statement that the man was arrested on January 15 after travelling through Turkey, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
They did not identify the suspect or explain his suspected relationship to the attackers, but his initials could be translated to J.A. or G.A.
The statement said the man had travelled to Syria along with one of the suicide bombers who blew himself up in the northern Paris district of Saint-Denis near the Stade de France national stadium.
‘He went to Syria with one of the suicide bombers of Saint Denis,’ the statement added.
During his stay in Syria he took military training and made connections with ISIS commanders, including ‘the mastermind of the terrorist attacks in the French capital,’ the statement said.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a 28-year-old Belgian militant who authorities said was the ringleader of the Paris attacks, was killed with other suspects days after when police raided a house in the Saint Denis suburb.
Terrorists struck Paris on November 13, killing 130 in a wave of deadly assaults which included suicide bomb attacks at the Stade de France, mass shootings at restaurants and bars and a gun massacre inside the Bataclan theatre during a rock concert.
Investigations showed that during his stay in Syria he had built solid ties with ISIS leaders including the ringleader of the Paris attacks.
The suspect was trained to handle different weapons and guerrilla tactics but left Syria through Turkey, Germany, Belgium then Netherlands from where he came to Morocco.
Morocco provided the tip-off that enabled French police to locate Abaaoud’. It has been holding Abaaoud’s brother Yassine since October and has issued an arrest warrant for Salah Abdeslam, who is suspected of taking part in the attacks and is on the run.
Several of the Paris attackers had Moroccan origins.