A Belgian national who is currently in Syria is suspected of being behind Friday's attacks in Paris, according to a source close to the French investigation. The latest development came amid conflicting reports over whether police had arrested a suspected accomplice in Belgium.
"He appears to be the brains behind several planned attacks in Europe," the source told Reuters, adding that the man, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was the investigators' best lead as the person likely behind the killing of at least 129 people in Paris on Friday.
According to RTL Radio, Abaaoud is a 27 year-old from the Molenbeek suburb of Brussels, home to other members of the militant Islamist cell that carried out the attacks.
In other developments Monday, there were conflicting reports that Belgian police arrested a suspect called Salah Abdeslam, according to Belgian broadcaster RTL.
While earlier reported that he had been arrested in Molenbeek, where police had conducted raids today, Belgian broadcaster RTBF seemed to contradict reports of an arrest.
Abdeslam is suspected of renting a car used in the attacks. He has been identified as dangerous by French police.