Most Wanted Terrorist in Europe Arrested, Riots Ensue

Dozens of his fans attacked police with bottles, stones, and other objects, angered by the arrest of their "hero."

The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) reports that the most wanted terrorist in Europe was arrested Friday by Belgian authorities, and his Muslim supporters immediately protested with rioting.

Considered the mastermind behind November's multi-targeted attack in Paris that left 130 people dead, Saleh Abdeslam was considered a hero by some Muslims in the Molenbeek district of Brussels, where he was captured.

Within hours of Abdeslam's arrest riots erupted in the district, which has a majority Muslim population. Dozens of his fans, angered that their hero had been taken into custody, attacked police with bottles, stones, and other objects, according to IPT.

Unsurprisingly, Belgian newspaper De Morgen reported that "the whole neighborhood" knew where Abdeslam had been hiding since the Paris attacks, and no one alerted authorities.

IPT commented,

The violence and code of silence over Abeslam's hideout is not as surprising as it might seem. As we've noted previously, the Paris attacks were hatched in Molenbeek, in addition to the 2015 attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo's offices.

The situation is developing.