BRUSSELS, March 31 (UPI) — Salah Abdeslam, the only Islamic State militant believed to have survived the Paris attacks in November, will be extradited to France to face prosecution.
A Belgian court ruled Thursday that Abdeslam will be extradited, but it is unclear how French and Belgian authorities will carry out the extradition.
Cedric Moisse, one of Abdeslam’s lawyers, previously told reporters that Abdeslam “is in favor of executing the European arrest warrant” and that “he wants to cooperate with the French authorities.”
“I confirm to you that Salah Abdeslam wishes to be sent to French authorities,” Moisse said in Brussels.
A European arrest warrant is a simpler and quicker method of extradition possible between European Union members.
Abdeslam, 26, was arrested in Brussels days before the Brussels bombings took place on March 22, when at least 32 people were killed. He is considered to be the sole survivor of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, in which at least 130 people were killed in coordinated bombings and shootings. Both attacks were claimed by the Islamic State.
Investigators are using DNA to determine if Najim Laachraoui was one of the suspects killed in the Brussels suicide bombings. Police launched a manhunt for Laachraoui after finding his DNA is safe houses Abdeslam used.
Other than Abdeslam and possibly Laachraoui — depending on DNA results — all other known suspects directly involved in the Paris and Brussels attacks are dead.