Suspected Jewish Museum gunman extradited to Belgium

  • 29 July 2014
  • From the section Europe
A couple looks at tributes outside the Jewish Museum in Brussels - 1 June 2014
Image caption The shooting in broad daylight left four people dead, two of them Israeli tourists

France has extradited the man suspected of shooting dead four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels to Belgium.

A spokeswoman for the Belgian police told AFP that Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, arrived in Brussels on Tuesday and was being interrogated.

Four people were fatally shot in the attack in May, in broad daylight in the heart of the Belgian capital.

Mr Nemmouche, who is of Franco-Algerian origin, is said to have spent a year fighting with Islamists in Syria.

Image caption Mehdi Nemmouche was arrested during a customs check in Marseille after arriving on a coach from Amsterdam
Image caption Police released security camera footage showing the suspect shortly after the attack on the museum

His lawyer appealed against the extradition, saying it failed to guarantee that he would not be sent to "a third country," but France's final appeals court rejected the complaint last week.

The suspect was said to fear that once he was sent to Belgium, he would be extradited to Israel.

Two of the victims of the 24 May attack were Israeli tourists. A French female volunteer at the museum and a Belgian employee were also killed.

Mehdi Nemmouche is from Roubaix near the border with Belgium and was arrested in Marseille, during a routine customs check as he arrived on a coach from Amsterdam a few days after the shootings.

Police said he was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle and a handgun matching those used in the attack.

Prosecutors said that after spending a year in Syria he had returned to Europe, flying to Germany in March.

Belgium sought his extradition under a European arrest warrant, which fast-tracks the legal process.

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