Was Paris Attack Suspect Hiding in Plain Sight?

French Belgian Border
French Belgian Border Photo Credit: Alex Hughes / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
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For 6 days, Brussels was on a lockdown as police hunted a suspected accomplice (Salah Abdeslam) in the Paris attacks. The lockdown, which cost the Belgian city an estimated €51.7 million a day, failed to locate Abdeslam.

Now, reports have emerged indicating that Abdeslam “might have been taking his ease in a public place in the Belgian capital” the day after the Paris attacks. According to CNN, Abdeslam spent time at a cafe in the Schaerbeek neighborhood of Brussels with two other people, including a childhood friend.

Perhaps more embarrassing, however, is the fact that Abdeslam was allowed to pass through the French-Belgian border on the morning after the attack, despite the fact that he had been placed on a terrorism watch list a month before the Paris attacks and French authorities “had already identified [him] as the renter of a Volkswagen Polo that was abandoned at the scene of the attack.”

Abdeslam’s lucky streak has apparently continued. Despite the massive 6-day manhunt, authorities believe Abdeslam may have successfully escaped to Syria.

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