Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam 'is a totally normal lad,' says brother Mohamed

Brussels: The brother of wanted Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam said on Monday that he did not know where he was, adding that his sibling was a "normal lad".

"As far as my brother is concerned, we don't know where he is right now," Mohamed Abdeslam told Belgium's RTL television at his family home in Brussels after he was released by police without charge after two days in detention.

Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam is a totally normal lad, says brother Mohamed

Mohamed Abdeslam addresses the media at his house in the Molenbeek neighborhood in Brussels on Monday. AP

"He grew up here, studied here, he is a totally normal lad."

France says that the "dangerous" Salah Abdeslam is wanted in connection with Friday's attacks in Paris and that a third brother, Brahim, was one of the suicide attackers who launched Friday's carnage.

A major police raid in the impoverished immigrant district of Molenbeek in western Brussels targeting Salah ended without any arrests on Monday.

"None of us knew anything. Not us, not our family. They are big boys, they are grown-ups. You don't ask them what they're doing every time they leave the house."

Belgian police had detained Mohamed Abdeslam on Saturday as part of a wave of arrests but he was freed on Monday along with four other suspects. Two further suspects were charged with involvement with terrorism.

"We are very shocked about what has happened. We learned about it the same way you did. And we can't believe for a moment that either of my brothers is linked to these attacks," the municipal employee said hours after his release.

"We think of course about the victims, about their families. But you have to understand that we also have a mother, we have a family, and that these remain, despite everything, her children," he added.

Abdeslam added: "I am one of the brothers but in no way am I linked in any shape or form to what happened on Friday 13.

"I have an alibi for Friday night and that's the reason the judge decided to free me. We are an open family, we have never had problems with the law. My two brothers have normal attitudes."


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Updated Date: Nov 17, 2015 09:35:32 IST