He has been arrested and charged with carrying out an armed bank robbery in the municipality of Molenbeek.
The robbery occurred on January 23. Mohamed Abdeslam was placed under arrest on Friday night for the theft, reports La Dernière Heure, a Belgian newspaper.
A man armed with a knife attacked municipal employees who were transporting cash to a bank in Brussels. The attacker then escaped in a waiting vehicle, and succeeded in getting away with 70,000 euros. Investigators quickly suspected that there was an inside accomplice. They were able to identify the license plate of the getaway vehicle.
Two investigations have been opened: one by the Belgian courts, the other internally by the town hall of Molenbeek.
Mohamed Abdeslam is a former employee of the municipality of Molenbeek, and was only recently dismissed from his job.
For years, Belgium, which has been the source of a string of Islamist terrorist attacks, has been singled out as a problem by both European and Maghrebian intelligence services. It has become the epicenter of both Islamist radicalization and drug trafficking in Europe.
Belgium currently has more than 500,000 Moroccans, or 1 inhabitant out of every 20. Why are so many of them vulnerable to radicalization and criminality? The history, origin, and activities of the Moroccans in Belgium explains the rise of a Salafist sanctuary in Molenbeek.