– MAROUANE EL-BALI
Four days after police raided a suspected terror cell in Verviers, Belgium, on 01/15/2015, killing two people who authorities said were part of a terrorist cell on the brink of a major attack, Belgian police arrested Marouane el-Bali, 25, from the Molenbeek district of Brussels, Abdelhamid Abaaoud’s neighborhood.
Marouane el-Bali was taken into custody, on 01/19/2015, and faces charges of participation in a terrorist organization and possession of explosives with intent to commit a criminal attack, among other charges, said his attorney, Didier De Quévy.”He did not know that these guys were connected to international terrorism” the attorney said. . “He arrived, he sat down and, the moment he sat down, the policemen starting shooting. He managed to escape by jumping out the window. The other two, however, took their guns and responded and got killed” according to Didier De Quévy admitting Marouane el-Bali was, indeed, in the scene of the Verviers Raid shootout.
Authorities say it wasn’t just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Investigators believe Marouane el-BalI played a key role in the terrorist cell’s plot and was a key intermediary between two dead gunmen and a wider network in Brussels, the senior Belgian counterterrorism official said. Marouane el-Bali.is also believed to have fought with ISIS in Syria at some point.
In addition to the weapons and terrorism-related accusations, Marouane el-Bali was charged, on 01/21/2015, “with armed rebellion, in group, with premeditation,” the statement by the prosecutor’s office said.
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