Skip to main content

ALERT: KPBS Radio is undergoing scheduled upgrade work which may result in temporary signal outages.

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Belgian Court Sentences Paris Attack Suspect Salah Abdeslam To 20-Year Term

Photo caption:

Photo by Petra Urban AP

In this courtroom sketch, Salah Abdeslam (center) sits between two police officers at the Brussels Justice Palace in February. He was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison over charges related to a shootout when he resisted arrest months after the 2015 Paris attacks.

Salah Abdeslam still faces trial over the 2015 Paris attacks, but a Belgian court sentenced him to 20 years in prison on Monday over charges related to his shootout with police when he resisted arrest in Brussels months after the deadly violence in Paris.

Abdeslam, 28, was found guilty of attempted terrorist murder and illegal possession of firearms after attacking the police officers who found him and two other suspects hiding out in a Brussels apartment.

Months earlier, Abdeslam had become the subject of a manhunt as the only known survivor of the Islamic State terror cell that carried out the suicide bombings and mass shootings on Nov. 13, 2015, that killed at least 130 people — many of them at the Bataclan concert hall.

Three Belgian officers were wounded and one suspect was killed in the shootout that flushed Abdeslam from his hiding place. He was arrested a few days later in the immigrant neighborhood of Molenbeek.

The Palais de Justice in Brussels rendered its verdict on Abdeslam and an accomplice, Sofien Ayari, on Monday. Both of them received 20-year sentences.

The Belgian trial began more than two months ago, when Abdeslam refused to stand and said that he would not answer any questions during the proceedings.

"Salah Abdeslam is not attending the court in Brussels," reports Belgian media outlet Flanders News. "He has chosen to remain in his jail cell outside Paris where he is awaiting trial in connection with the Paris attacks."

In France, the trial for Abdeslam regarding the Paris attacks isn't expected to begin for months.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.