Belgium says captured Paris suspect may have planned more attacks

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The prime surviving suspect in the Paris attacks may have been plotting more operations with the help of a weapons cache and a network of associates, Belgium’s foreign minister said on Sunday.

Didier Reynders, speaking two days after the capture of Salah Abdeslam, said the suspect’s first statement to a magistrate in Brussels suggested further attacks were planned.

“He was ready to restart something from Brussels,” Reynders told a think-tank event. “That is maybe the reality, because we have found a lot of heavy weapons and we have seen a new network around him.”

Reynders said Belgium and France had so far found around 30 people involved in the gun and bomb attacks that killed 130 people on November 13 in bars, a sports stadium and a concert hall in the French capital.

Capturing Abdeslam alive marks a breakthrough for authorities investigating the deadliest militant strikes in Europe since 2004. Islamic State has claimed responsibility, and the United States warned on Sunday that it would try to repeat such atrocities.

The 26-year-old French national told a Belgian magistrate on Saturday he had planned to take part in the stadium attack. The admission was disclosed to reporters by the lead French investigator, Francois Molins.

At a Paris news conference on Saturday, Molins read from Abdeslam’s statement, saying: “He wanted to blow himself up at the Stade de France and, I quote, backed out.”

Abdeslam’s lawyer Sven Mary said on Sunday he would sue Molins for making the comment public, calling it a violation of judicial confidentiality.

“I cannot let this pass,” Mary told Belgian state broadcaster RTBF. Mary’s office was not available for comment, but RTBF said he would start legal proceedings on Monday.