Paris – A man has been arrested in southeast France in the investigation of a shooting at a Jewish museum in Brussels that left at least three people dead, the Paris prosecutor’s office said Sunday.
Amid reports that the suspect had joined Islamic extremists in Syria before returning to Europe, French President Francois Hollande promised Sunday to fight homegrown radicals who return from the war-ravaged Middle Eastern country with violent plans.
Prosecutors say that a the Frenchman had traveled to Syria and claimed responsibility for the shootings in a video.
Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said Sunday that the suspect had tried to film the killings on May 24 but his camera failed. A video found after his arrest shows his weapons and clothes, and includes his voice claiming responsibility for the attack.
Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins says police arrested the suspect, Mehdi Nemmouche, on Friday in Marseille after he arrived on a bus coming from Amsterdam. He says the suspect had an automatic weapon like that used in the Brussels attack, and a white sheet scrawled with the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an extremist group fighting in Syria.
European authorities have struggled to stem the flow of young Europeans who are joining the fight in Syria against President Bashar Assad, and are especially afraid that they will stage attacks when they get home.
The suspect has been handed to anti-terrorist investigators and could be held at least through Tuesday under French counterterrorism law.