Brussels official: Explosive traces, print of Paris terror suspect found in search

Story highlights

  • A fingerprint of Salah Abdeslam, wanted for Paris attacks, has been found in an apartment
  • The apartment had been rented under a false identity
  • Handmade belts to transport explosives also were found

(CNN)Material that could be used to make explosives, traces of the explosive TATP and the fingerprint of a suspect in the November terrorist attacks in Paris were found during a search of an apartment in Brussels in December, a prosecutor in Belgium has confirmed.

The discoveries suggest that the third-floor apartment on Rue Bergé in the Brussels district of Schaerbeek might have been for a time the hide-out of Salah Abdeslam, who is wanted in connection with the Paris attacks, in which 130 people were killed.
    Abdeslam, a Belgian-born French national, remains at large and is one of Europe's most-wanted men.
    French authorities have confirmed that he wore an explosive belt found on a Paris street 10 days after the November terror attacks, a source close to the investigation told CNN in December.

    Suicide attack aborted?

    The source said investigators had analyzed the suicide belt, found on a sidewalk on Rue Frederic Chopin in the Paris suburb of Montrouge, and discovered traces of sweat that matched Abdeslam's DNA.
    Investigators are working under the theory that Abdeslam was supposed to blow himself up in Paris' 18th arrondissement but backed out, the source told CNN.
    The apartment in Brussels, where he may have hidden out for a time, was searched on December 10. It was rented "under a false identity that might have been used by a person already in custody in this case," the prosecutor's statement said Friday.
    Three handmade belts that might have been intended to transport explosives were also found in the apartment.