A jihadist wanted by Spain on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) has been apprehended by Belgian police in the no-go zone of Molenbeek, Brussels, a notorious hotbed of radical Islamist activity.
The 22-year-old jihadist had previously been sentenced to two years in prison by the Spanish courts in 2018 after being arrested the year before on charges that he had glorified terrorist attacks in France on social media.
The suspect is also said to have had a brother who joined the Islamic State terrorist group and died in combat after travelling to territory it formerly controlled in Syria and Iraq.
It is believed that the suspect’s brother contributed toward his radicalisation, Spanish newspaper La Razón reports.
A European Arrest Warrant was issued for the suspect in October of last year but it is not clear what charges the man faces, according to the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.
The arrest was carried out by agents of the Belgian Fugitive Active Search Teams (FAST) and was part of a joint investigation between Belgian and Spanish authorities.
Belgium: Eight Arrested in Molenbeek Ghetto Anti-Terror Raids https://t.co/3xlD8ANwB5
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 5, 2018
The arrest is just the latest in Molenbeek, which has been known as a hotbed for radical Islamic extremism in Europe for years and provided a home to many terrorists, including some of those who carried out the 2015 Paris Bataclan massacre.
One of the Bataclan terrorists, Salah Abdeslam, hid in Molenbeek for months after the attack before he was eventually confronted and caught in a gun battle with police.
Shortly after his arrest, Islamist militants carried out the Brussels terror attacks which claimed the lives of 32 people in three suicide bombings at Brussels’ airport and the city’s metro system.
Both Abdeslam and Syrian-born Swedish passport holder Osama Krayem are two of ten people set to face trial for the attacks.
Molenbeek has seen several anti-terror raids since Abdeslam’s arrest. In 2017, for example, raids were conducted in the same area where Abdeslam was found, and a year later eight people were arrested in another anti-terror raid.
Brussels: Nearly 200 Islamic Terror-Related 'Entities' Shut Down Since 2014 https://t.co/3ntofWgbhH
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 31, 2021