Mohamed Abrini, 31, is among Europe’s most wanted fugitives since he was filmed with Abdeslam at a petrol station on a highway to Paris on 11 November aboard a Renault Clio that was used in the attacks two days later. Described as “armed and dangerous” in a European arrested warrant the Belgian-Moroccan is believed to have travelled to Syria after serving short stints in jail for petty crime and robberies.
Laachraoui is thought to have studied electro-mechanical engineering at a Catholic high school in Schaerbeek, the Institut de la Sainte-Famille d’helmet, graduating in 2012. He was already known to be in Syria in 2013, and was the subject of an international arrest warrant in 2014.
Some reports have said he spent time in prison for robbery where he met suspected ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud. He had earlier been sacked as a technician on the Brussels tram system, for missing work. Dutch police said they had detained Salah Abdeslam briefly in February, fining him €70 (£49) for possession of cannabis.
If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).
The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.