Why did Mohamed Abrini return in disaster from Paris to Brussels on the night of November 12 to 13, 2015, after having made the reverse journey a few hours earlier in the company of the Abdeslam brothers, in the first car of what he has -even called “The Convoy of Death” ? This is one of the mysteries of the case, but it was not the subject of his interrogation on Tuesday March 22, since the hearing, advancing chronologically towards the evening of the attacks, was still at the preparation stage, between August and early November 2015.
Accused of having participated in logistics, Mohamed Abrini defends himself. For long minutes, he claims not to have ” nothing done “ during this period: he did not look for hideouts to lodge the terrorists, nor rent cars to convey them, nor buy what to manufacture the explosives furnishing their booby-trapped vests. His denials, sometimes confused and not very credible, do not interest many people in the courtroom where, very quickly, one wonders more than one thing: to what extent Abrini was informed of what was to happen. November 13, 2015?
Because at the turn of a harmless question, at the start of his interrogation, the 38-year-old Belgian-Moroccan accused revealed that he had met Abdelhamid Abaaoud in Charleroi two months before the attacks, which he had never said in twenty hearings since his arrest six years ago.
“I knew something was brewing”
This revelation – perhaps involuntary, as Abrini gives the impression of never knowing what he should or can say – leads to a shower of questions about his knowledge of the terrorist project. “I knew something was coming up but I didn’t know what, I didn’t know where”, he said during the investigation. Now that we know that he met the coordinator of the attacks two months before their commission, many in the room find it hard to believe.
The president of the court, Jean-Louis Périès: “Did you know that attacks were being prepared?
“I knew something was up, I won’t deny it.
– But what ?
– I knew that many people from the neighborhood were in Syria. When I hear they’re coming back, I know it’s not for sightseeing, and something is going to happen. Then tell you what…”
“What did you talk about with Abaaoud?, asks Advocate General Nicolas Braconnay.
– Everything and nothing. From his wounds, from his father, nothing special. We weren’t talking about attacks. Nothing special.
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