A car rented by Paris fugitive Salah Abdeslam found abandoned today may have been part of an aborted attack on the city, it was revealed today.
The black Renault Clio with Belgian licence plates was left on a pedestrian crossing on Place Albert Kahn in the 18th arrondissement of the city this morning.
Abdeslam, 26, still on the run four days after the attacks, rented at least two cars used by the ISIS gang in attacks that killed 129 people on Friday.
After the massacre ISIS claimed responsibility in an audio message that praised the killing of ‘infidels’ at the ‘Stade de France, in the 10th, 11th and 18th arrondissements.’
But there was no suicide bombing or shooting in the 18th arrondissement – where the black Renault Clio was found – suggesting that one may have been planned but abandoned the last minute.
The discovery came as police arrested two women and three men in Alsdorf near Aachen close to Germany’s border with Belgium and Holland this morning.
Three were captured as they were driving through the small town while two more were held at a nearby flat.
Local police said the five terror suspects held may be linked to the attacks on Paris that killed 129 people – but it appears unlikely that Salah Abdeslam, 26, was among them.
A spokesman said: ‘We have received indications that one of the Paris fugitives may be staying in our area’.
A witness to the first arrests told Aachener Zeitung that several police cars pulled over a ‘compact car’ in front of the local job centre and the passengers were put in separate vans.
The Clio is the third vehicle found in the wake of the attacks that have been linked to the 26-year-old and his ‘blood brother’ Ibrahim Abdeslam who blew himself up at the Comptoir Voltaire cafe in Paris.
Referring to discovery of the Clio, a police source said: ‘The car was seen on the A1 motorway as part of what may have been preparatory contacts between groups in Paris and Belgium.’
Another source said further analysis by forensic investigators was needed to determine whether the car was involved in the attacks.
It was found parked partly over a pedestrian crossing and has Belgian number-plates, an AFP news agency journalist said.
After checking the vehicle was not booby-trapped, it was towed away by police for further examination.
Two other Belgian-registered vehicles have been linked to the Paris attacks, rented by each of the Abdeslam brothers.
After police missed Salah twice in the past four days, it appears he was also stopped and questioned weeks before the attacks.
Austria’s interior ministry has said the fugitive entered the country about two months ago.
Ministry official Karl-Heinz Grundboeck he passed over the border from Germany on September 9 with two others.
Grundboeck says Abdeslam’s identity was established during a routine traffic check and Salah said they were on a week’s holiday together.
Today extraordinary video has emerged from inside the filthy hotel rooms where the ISIS death squads made the final preparations for their bombing and gun rampage through Paris.
The footage shows a pile of used syringes, a set of short needles and plastic tubing scattered on a coffee table in a room littered with rubbish.
Forensic experts are trying to work out whether the paraphernalia was used to take drugs to fuel their killing spree or to help make their explosive belts.
The world’s most wanted man, Salah Abdeslam, 26, who played a key role in the attacks, booked the rooms at Appart’City hotel in the south-east Paris suburb of Alfortville in his own name.
Police have also found that his suicide bomber brother Ibrahim, 31, rented a safehouse 15km away in the capital’s Bobigny district, suggesting the terrorists used two properties before the raids.
One witness who saw the attackers hinted to drug use after telling police that before the attack on the Bataclan concert hall, where 89 people were slaughtered, the men ‘were like zombies’.
Across the city the landlady who rented the Bobigny safehouse to members of the eight-strong ISIS killer squad on the eve of the attacks said they seemed ‘nice, kind and proper’ men.
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