France: Abdeslam abandoned plans to be Paris suicide bomber

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A special forces police officer awaits a convoy and ambulance thought to be carrying captured fugitive Salah Abdeslam at the federal penitentary in Bruges, Belgium, on Saturday, March 19, 2016. Salah Abdeslam, the top suspect in last year’s Paris attacks, was charged with “terrorist murder” on Saturday by Belgian authorities and his lawyer vowed to fight any attempt to extradite him to France to stand trial for the slaughter of 130 people. (AP Photo/Geoffroy Van der Hasselt) ORG XMIT: VLM196

PARIS — The Paris prosecutor says Salah Abdeslam, the top suspect in last year’s deadly Paris attacks, had planned to be a suicide bomber at France’s main stadium but backed out at the last minute.

Abdeslam was arrested Friday in a police raid in Brussels and questioned Saturday by Belgian authorities. Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters in Paris that Abdeslam told Belgian investigators that he abandoned his suicide vest the night of Nov. 13 after he drove other attackers to Paris for the attacks.

Molins did not say whether Abdeslam explained his reasoning for abandoning the attack. In all, 130 people were killed at several venues around Paris on that night.

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