Derechos | Equipo Nizkor
First Isis supergrass helps UK terror police
Mohamed Abrini, the "man in the hat" linked to the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, has become the first Isis supergrass to assist British police.
Abrini, who is facing terrorism charges in Belgium after being filmed at Brussels airport with two suicide bombers responsible for the atrocity there in March, has been helping British officers gather intelligence on suspected terrorist plots and jihadist sympathisers in the UK.
Following secret talks between Britain and Belgium, officers in Brussels asked Abrini questions provided by the UK authorities.
Abrini, 31, who was also caught on CCTV travelling by car to Paris two days before the attacks in the French capital last November, is the first Isis terrorist suspect confirmed to have been "turned" and to be assisting authorities in the UK.
A supergrass is an informant or suspect who helps the authorities in return for immunity from prosecution, a more lenient sentence or a new identity. A security source with experience of terrorist informants warned that the evidence they provide is not always reliable, however.
Abrini appeared in court in Belgium last week where a judge rejected his bid to avoid extradition to France, where he is suspected of involvement in the Paris attacks that killed 130.
Prosecutors said Abrini would not be sent to France immediately because they are still investigating him over the Brussels attacks that claimed a total of 32 lives.
[Source: The Sunday Times, London, 26Jun16]
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