Salah Abdeslam, the Belgian-born Frenchman who was arrested Friday in a police raid in Brussels’ Molenbeek neighborhood, had crisscrossed central and southern Europe before taking part in the Paris terror attacks — then going on the lam as Europe’s most-wanted fugitive.
Here is a look at his movements in the run-up to and aftermath of the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, in which he played a key logistical and transport role, including as the driver of a car that was ditched in northern Paris that night.
August: With another suspected Islamic State militant, Abdeslam caught a ferry in Italy and headed to Greece when “they were free citizens, not sought-after terrorists,” according to Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano.
Early September: After traveling the length of Italy on his way home to Belgium, Abdeslam took a rental car twice to Budapest, according to Belgium’s federal prosecutor.
Sept. 9: Abdeslam was stopped at a checkpoint on the Austrian border in a rental Mercedes, accompanied by two people with Belgian ID cards that later turned out to be fake, according to the Belgian federal prosecutor. He was waved on through.
October: Abdelslam buys detonators from a pyrotechnics shop outside Paris.
Nov. 9: He rented a Volkswagen Polo used in the attacks at Astral Rent Car in the Brussels suburb of Etterbeek.
Nov. 11: Video surveillance shows Abdeslam and fellow Molenbeek resident, Mohamed Abrini, together in a Renault Clio buying gas in the Oise region, north of Paris. It was the last time Abrini, a small-time criminal whose brother died in Syria in 2014, was spotted. They were the only two named fugitives from the Paris attacks.
Nov. 12: Abdeslam’s one-week rental begins for two studios in Appart City Hotel in the Paris suburb of Alfortville. He and Abrini were spotted together that day leaving Brussels.
Nov. 13: The attacks.
Nov. 14: Police stop Abdeslam along with two other men in Cambrai, France, near the Belgian border. Early that morning, Abdeslam had called two friends in Brussels to come fetch him in Paris.
Nov. 15: International arrest warrant issued for Abdeslam.
Dec. 10: Police search of an apartment in Brussels’ Schalbeek neighborhood turns up Abdeslam’s fingerprints, the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said.
March 18: Abdeslam arrested in Molenbeek in a police raid.
Story by the Associated Press