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Suspect in Jewish museum killings went to Syria

KDWN

PARIS (AP) — A suspected French jihadist who spent time in Syria has been arrested over the shooting deaths of three people at a Belgian Jewish museum, prosecutors said Sunday, crystalizing fears that European radicals will parlay their experiences in Syria into terrorism back home.

When Mehdi Nemmouche was arrested in southern France on Friday, he was in possession of firearms, a large quantity of ammunition and a video claiming responsibility for the May 24 attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, a Belgian prosecutor said.

In a one-minute rampage that deeply shook Europe’s Jewish community, a gunman opened fire at the Brussels museum. In addition to the fatalities, another person was gravely wounded.

Authorities raised anti-terror alert levels as they searched for the attacker. But it was ultimately a customs inspection in the French port city of Marseille that turned up Nemmouche, as he disembarked from a bus coming from Amsterdam, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

The suspect had a revolver and a retractable automatic weapon like those used in the Brussels attack, and ballistics analyses were underway to determine if they were the same weapons, Molins said.

At least one of the weapons was wrapped up in a white sheet scrawled with the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an extremist group fighting in Syria, Molins said. The group has also waged attacks in Iraq.

Nemmouche, a French-born 29-year-old from the northern city of Roubaix, had a criminal record, with seven convictions for crimes like attempted robbery – but nothing related to terrorism, Molins said.

He said the suspect became radicalized in prison, and left for Syria just three weeks after his last prison stay in late 2012, going to Syria via Brussels, London and Istanbul. He said the suspect had spent about a year in Syria, though it is unclear why he went and what he did while there.

A video found in the suspect’s possession shows weapons and clothes akin to the gunman’s, and includes a voice claiming responsibility for the “attack in Brussels against Jews,” Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said. He said it wasn’t certain whether the voice was that of the suspect.

The narrator says he tried to film the killings on May 24 live, but that his camera failed, Van Leeuw said. When apprehended, the suspect had a GoPro camera in his possession, the Belgian prosecutor said.

Belgian police carried out raids in the Courtrai region of Belgium on Sunday morning, where the suspect is believed to have spent time, and were questioning two people there, Van Leeuw said.

The suspect has been handed to anti-terrorist investigators and could be held at least through Tuesday under French counterterrorism law.

“The new elements in this investigation draw attention once more to the problem of the `returnees’ -in other words the people going to Syria to participate in combat and return afterward to our country,” Van Leeuw said.

Interior ministers from around the European Union are expected to focus on better ways to stem Syria-related violence when they meet in Brussels on Thursday.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called Sunday for better international coordination on the issue. His Belgian counterpart, Joelle Milquet, called the returnees “a generalized problem for all of Europe.”

The Brussels killings, which came on the eve of European Parliament elections in which far right parties had a strong showing, led Belgian officials to boost their anti-terror measures, and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism.

Two Israeli tourists and a French citizen were killed in the museum attack, and a fourth victim remains hospitalized hovering between life and death, the Belgian prosecutor said Sunday.

The European Jewish Congress welcomed the arrest and urged European authorities to act faster and more aggressively to prevent such crimes.

The suspect has said nothing to investigators so far during his interrogations, Molins said.

Nemmouche’s former lawyer, Soulifa Badaoui, described him on BFM television as someone “in difficulty” who went from foster home to foster home and often lived in vehicles. She said he was an intelligent person with serious family problems.

The attack and the arrest highlight the challenge for European authorities in tracking homegrown extremists, often alienated youths from immigrant backgrounds with few job prospects, when they travel to and from Syria.

French President Francois Hollande promised Sunday to “fight” homegrown radicals who come home from Syria with violent plans.

France has western Europe’s largest Muslim population, and while it is overwhelmingly moderate, authorities say several hundred French people have left to join Islamic radicals fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army.

The French government recently introduced measures to try to stop disaffected youth from leaving in the first place, and better track those who go to Syria and come back.

“The whole government is mobilized to follow the jihadists, and prevent them from being able to cause harm” especially when they come home to France or elsewhere in Europe, Hollande said on an official visit to Normandy.

The attack and the arrest revived memories of Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman who trained with extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then attacked a Jewish school and French paratroopers in southern France in 2012.

He killed seven people, including three children in an attack he captured on camera, before dying in a shootout with police. Those killings rocked France, prompting tougher anti-terrorism measures aimed at better tracking French citizens who pursue extremism abroad.

John-Thor Dahlburg reported from Brussels. Angela Charlton contributed from Paris.

Suspect in Jewish museum killings went to Syria

KDWN

PARIS (AP) — A suspected French jihadist who spent time in Syria has been arrested over the shooting deaths of three people at a Belgian Jewish museum, prosecutors said Sunday, crystalizing fears that European radicals will parlay their experiences in Syria into terrorism back home.

When Mehdi Nemmouche was arrested in southern France on Friday, he was in possession of firearms, a large quantity of ammunition and a video claiming responsibility for the May 24 attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, a Belgian prosecutor said.

In a one-minute rampage that deeply shook Europe’s Jewish community, a gunman opened fire at the Brussels museum. In addition to the fatalities, another person was gravely wounded.

Authorities raised anti-terror alert levels as they searched for the attacker. But it was ultimately a customs inspection in the French port city of Marseille that turned up Nemmouche, as he disembarked from a bus coming from Amsterdam, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

The suspect had a revolver and a retractable automatic weapon like those used in the Brussels attack, and ballistics analyses were underway to determine if they were the same weapons, Molins said.

At least one of the weapons was wrapped up in a white sheet scrawled with the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an extremist group fighting in Syria, Molins said. The group has also waged attacks in Iraq.

Nemmouche, a French-born 29-year-old from the northern city of Roubaix, had a criminal record, with seven convictions for crimes like attempted robbery – but nothing related to terrorism, Molins said.

He said the suspect became radicalized in prison, and left for Syria just three weeks after his last prison stay in late 2012, going to Syria via Brussels, London and Istanbul. He said the suspect had spent about a year in Syria, though it is unclear why he went and what he did while there.

A video found in the suspect’s possession shows weapons and clothes akin to the gunman’s, and includes a voice claiming responsibility for the “attack in Brussels against Jews,” Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said. He said it wasn’t certain whether the voice was that of the suspect.

The narrator says he tried to film the killings on May 24 live, but that his camera failed, Van Leeuw said. When apprehended, the suspect had a GoPro camera in his possession, the Belgian prosecutor said.

Belgian police carried out raids in the Courtrai region of Belgium on Sunday morning, where the suspect is believed to have spent time, and were questioning two people there, Van Leeuw said.

The suspect has been handed to anti-terrorist investigators and could be held at least through Tuesday under French counterterrorism law.

“The new elements in this investigation draw attention once more to the problem of the `returnees’ -in other words the people going to Syria to participate in combat and return afterward to our country,” Van Leeuw said.

Interior ministers from around the European Union are expected to focus on better ways to stem Syria-related violence when they meet in Brussels on Thursday.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called Sunday for better international coordination on the issue. His Belgian counterpart, Joelle Milquet, called the returnees “a generalized problem for all of Europe.”

The Brussels killings, which came on the eve of European Parliament elections in which far right parties had a strong showing, led Belgian officials to boost their anti-terror measures, and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism.

Two Israeli tourists and a French citizen were killed in the museum attack, and a fourth victim remains hospitalized hovering between life and death, the Belgian prosecutor said Sunday.

The European Jewish Congress welcomed the arrest and urged European authorities to act faster and more aggressively to prevent such crimes.

The suspect has said nothing to investigators so far during his interrogations, Molins said.

Nemmouche’s former lawyer, Soulifa Badaoui, described him on BFM television as someone “in difficulty” who went from foster home to foster home and often lived in vehicles. She said he was an intelligent person with serious family problems.

The attack and the arrest highlight the challenge for European authorities in tracking homegrown extremists, often alienated youths from immigrant backgrounds with few job prospects, when they travel to and from Syria.

French President Francois Hollande promised Sunday to “fight” homegrown radicals who come home from Syria with violent plans.

France has western Europe’s largest Muslim population, and while it is overwhelmingly moderate, authorities say several hundred French people have left to join Islamic radicals fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army.

The French government recently introduced measures to try to stop disaffected youth from leaving in the first place, and better track those who go to Syria and come back.

“The whole government is mobilized to follow the jihadists, and prevent them from being able to cause harm” especially when they come home to France or elsewhere in Europe, Hollande said on an official visit to Normandy.

The attack and the arrest revived memories of Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman who trained with extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then attacked a Jewish school and French paratroopers in southern France in 2012.

He killed seven people, including three children in an attack he captured on camera, before dying in a shootout with police. Those killings rocked France, prompting tougher anti-terrorism measures aimed at better tracking French citizens who pursue extremism abroad.

John-Thor Dahlburg reported from Brussels. Angela Charlton contributed from Paris.

Suspect in Jewish museum killings went to Syria

KDWN

PARIS (AP) — A suspected French jihadist who spent time in Syria has been arrested over the shooting deaths of three people at a Belgian Jewish museum, prosecutors said Sunday, crystalizing fears that European radicals will parlay their experiences in Syria into terrorism back home.

When Mehdi Nemmouche was arrested in southern France on Friday, he was in possession of firearms, a large quantity of ammunition and a video claiming responsibility for the May 24 attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, a Belgian prosecutor said.

In a one-minute rampage that deeply shook Europe’s Jewish community, a gunman opened fire at the Brussels museum. In addition to the fatalities, another person was gravely wounded.

Authorities raised anti-terror alert levels as they searched for the attacker. But it was ultimately a customs inspection in the French port city of Marseille that turned up Nemmouche, as he disembarked from a bus coming from Amsterdam, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

The suspect had a revolver and a retractable automatic weapon like those used in the Brussels attack, and ballistics analyses were underway to determine if they were the same weapons, Molins said.

At least one of the weapons was wrapped up in a white sheet scrawled with the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an extremist group fighting in Syria, Molins said. The group has also waged attacks in Iraq.

Nemmouche, a French-born 29-year-old from the northern city of Roubaix, had a criminal record, with seven convictions for crimes like attempted robbery – but nothing related to terrorism, Molins said.

He said the suspect became radicalized in prison, and left for Syria just three weeks after his last prison stay in late 2012, going to Syria via Brussels, London and Istanbul. He said the suspect had spent about a year in Syria, though it is unclear why he went and what he did while there.

A video found in the suspect’s possession shows weapons and clothes akin to the gunman’s, and includes a voice claiming responsibility for the “attack in Brussels against Jews,” Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said. He said it wasn’t certain whether the voice was that of the suspect.

The narrator says he tried to film the killings on May 24 live, but that his camera failed, Van Leeuw said. When apprehended, the suspect had a GoPro camera in his possession, the Belgian prosecutor said.

Belgian police carried out raids in the Courtrai region of Belgium on Sunday morning, where the suspect is believed to have spent time, and were questioning two people there, Van Leeuw said.

The suspect has been handed to anti-terrorist investigators and could be held at least through Tuesday under French counterterrorism law.

“The new elements in this investigation draw attention once more to the problem of the `returnees’ -in other words the people going to Syria to participate in combat and return afterward to our country,” Van Leeuw said.

Interior ministers from around the European Union are expected to focus on better ways to stem Syria-related violence when they meet in Brussels on Thursday.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called Sunday for better international coordination on the issue. His Belgian counterpart, Joelle Milquet, called the returnees “a generalized problem for all of Europe.”

The Brussels killings, which came on the eve of European Parliament elections in which far right parties had a strong showing, led Belgian officials to boost their anti-terror measures, and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism.

Two Israeli tourists and a French citizen were killed in the museum attack, and a fourth victim remains hospitalized hovering between life and death, the Belgian prosecutor said Sunday.

The European Jewish Congress welcomed the arrest and urged European authorities to act faster and more aggressively to prevent such crimes.

The suspect has said nothing to investigators so far during his interrogations, Molins said.

Nemmouche’s former lawyer, Soulifa Badaoui, described him on BFM television as someone “in difficulty” who went from foster home to foster home and often lived in vehicles. She said he was an intelligent person with serious family problems.

The attack and the arrest highlight the challenge for European authorities in tracking homegrown extremists, often alienated youths from immigrant backgrounds with few job prospects, when they travel to and from Syria.

French President Francois Hollande promised Sunday to “fight” homegrown radicals who come home from Syria with violent plans.

France has western Europe’s largest Muslim population, and while it is overwhelmingly moderate, authorities say several hundred French people have left to join Islamic radicals fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army.

The French government recently introduced measures to try to stop disaffected youth from leaving in the first place, and better track those who go to Syria and come back.

“The whole government is mobilized to follow the jihadists, and prevent them from being able to cause harm” especially when they come home to France or elsewhere in Europe, Hollande said on an official visit to Normandy.

The attack and the arrest revived memories of Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman who trained with extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then attacked a Jewish school and French paratroopers in southern France in 2012.

He killed seven people, including three children in an attack he captured on camera, before dying in a shootout with police. Those killings rocked France, prompting tougher anti-terrorism measures aimed at better tracking French citizens who pursue extremism abroad.

John-Thor Dahlburg reported from Brussels. Angela Charlton contributed from Paris.

Suspect in Jewish museum killings went to Syria

KDWN

PARIS (AP) — A suspected French jihadist who spent time in Syria has been arrested over the shooting deaths of three people at a Belgian Jewish museum, prosecutors said Sunday, crystalizing fears that European radicals will parlay their experiences in Syria into terrorism back home.

When Mehdi Nemmouche was arrested in southern France on Friday, he was in possession of firearms, a large quantity of ammunition and a video claiming responsibility for the May 24 attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, a Belgian prosecutor said.

In a one-minute rampage that deeply shook Europe’s Jewish community, a gunman opened fire at the Brussels museum. In addition to the fatalities, another person was gravely wounded.

Authorities raised anti-terror alert levels as they searched for the attacker. But it was ultimately a customs inspection in the French port city of Marseille that turned up Nemmouche, as he disembarked from a bus coming from Amsterdam, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

The suspect had a revolver and a retractable automatic weapon like those used in the Brussels attack, and ballistics analyses were underway to determine if they were the same weapons, Molins said.

At least one of the weapons was wrapped up in a white sheet scrawled with the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an extremist group fighting in Syria, Molins said. The group has also waged attacks in Iraq.

Nemmouche, a French-born 29-year-old from the northern city of Roubaix, had a criminal record, with seven convictions for crimes like attempted robbery – but nothing related to terrorism, Molins said.

He said the suspect became radicalized in prison, and left for Syria just three weeks after his last prison stay in late 2012, going to Syria via Brussels, London and Istanbul. He said the suspect had spent about a year in Syria, though it is unclear why he went and what he did while there.

A video found in the suspect’s possession shows weapons and clothes akin to the gunman’s, and includes a voice claiming responsibility for the “attack in Brussels against Jews,” Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said. He said it wasn’t certain whether the voice was that of the suspect.

The narrator says he tried to film the killings on May 24 live, but that his camera failed, Van Leeuw said. When apprehended, the suspect had a GoPro camera in his possession, the Belgian prosecutor said.

Belgian police carried out raids in the Courtrai region of Belgium on Sunday morning, where the suspect is believed to have spent time, and were questioning two people there, Van Leeuw said.

The suspect has been handed to anti-terrorist investigators and could be held at least through Tuesday under French counterterrorism law.

“The new elements in this investigation draw attention once more to the problem of the `returnees’ -in other words the people going to Syria to participate in combat and return afterward to our country,” Van Leeuw said.

Interior ministers from around the European Union are expected to focus on better ways to stem Syria-related violence when they meet in Brussels on Thursday.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called Sunday for better international coordination on the issue. His Belgian counterpart, Joelle Milquet, called the returnees “a generalized problem for all of Europe.”

The Brussels killings, which came on the eve of European Parliament elections in which far right parties had a strong showing, led Belgian officials to boost their anti-terror measures, and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism.

Two Israeli tourists and a French citizen were killed in the museum attack, and a fourth victim remains hospitalized hovering between life and death, the Belgian prosecutor said Sunday.

The European Jewish Congress welcomed the arrest and urged European authorities to act faster and more aggressively to prevent such crimes.

The suspect has said nothing to investigators so far during his interrogations, Molins said.

Nemmouche’s former lawyer, Soulifa Badaoui, described him on BFM television as someone “in difficulty” who went from foster home to foster home and often lived in vehicles. She said he was an intelligent person with serious family problems.

The attack and the arrest highlight the challenge for European authorities in tracking homegrown extremists, often alienated youths from immigrant backgrounds with few job prospects, when they travel to and from Syria.

French President Francois Hollande promised Sunday to “fight” homegrown radicals who come home from Syria with violent plans.

France has western Europe’s largest Muslim population, and while it is overwhelmingly moderate, authorities say several hundred French people have left to join Islamic radicals fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army.

The French government recently introduced measures to try to stop disaffected youth from leaving in the first place, and better track those who go to Syria and come back.

“The whole government is mobilized to follow the jihadists, and prevent them from being able to cause harm” especially when they come home to France or elsewhere in Europe, Hollande said on an official visit to Normandy.

The attack and the arrest revived memories of Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman who trained with extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then attacked a Jewish school and French paratroopers in southern France in 2012.

He killed seven people, including three children in an attack he captured on camera, before dying in a shootout with police. Those killings rocked France, prompting tougher anti-terrorism measures aimed at better tracking French citizens who pursue extremism abroad.

John-Thor Dahlburg reported from Brussels. Angela Charlton contributed from Paris.

Suspect in Jewish museum killings went to Syria

KDWN

PARIS (AP) — A suspected French jihadist who spent time in Syria has been arrested over the shooting deaths of three people at a Belgian Jewish museum, prosecutors said Sunday, crystalizing fears that European radicals will parlay their experiences in Syria into terrorism back home.

When Mehdi Nemmouche was arrested in southern France on Friday, he was in possession of firearms, a large quantity of ammunition and a video claiming responsibility for the May 24 attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, a Belgian prosecutor said.

In a one-minute rampage that deeply shook Europe’s Jewish community, a gunman opened fire at the Brussels museum. In addition to the fatalities, another person was gravely wounded.

Authorities raised anti-terror alert levels as they searched for the attacker. But it was ultimately a customs inspection in the French port city of Marseille that turned up Nemmouche, as he disembarked from a bus coming from Amsterdam, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

The suspect had a revolver and a retractable automatic weapon like those used in the Brussels attack, and ballistics analyses were underway to determine if they were the same weapons, Molins said.

At least one of the weapons was wrapped up in a white sheet scrawled with the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an extremist group fighting in Syria, Molins said. The group has also waged attacks in Iraq.

Nemmouche, a French-born 29-year-old from the northern city of Roubaix, had a criminal record, with seven convictions for crimes like attempted robbery – but nothing related to terrorism, Molins said.

He said the suspect became radicalized in prison, and left for Syria just three weeks after his last prison stay in late 2012, going to Syria via Brussels, London and Istanbul. He said the suspect had spent about a year in Syria, though it is unclear why he went and what he did while there.

A video found in the suspect’s possession shows weapons and clothes akin to the gunman’s, and includes a voice claiming responsibility for the “attack in Brussels against Jews,” Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said. He said it wasn’t certain whether the voice was that of the suspect.

The narrator says he tried to film the killings on May 24 live, but that his camera failed, Van Leeuw said. When apprehended, the suspect had a GoPro camera in his possession, the Belgian prosecutor said.

Belgian police carried out raids in the Courtrai region of Belgium on Sunday morning, where the suspect is believed to have spent time, and were questioning two people there, Van Leeuw said.

The suspect has been handed to anti-terrorist investigators and could be held at least through Tuesday under French counterterrorism law.

“The new elements in this investigation draw attention once more to the problem of the `returnees’ -in other words the people going to Syria to participate in combat and return afterward to our country,” Van Leeuw said.

Interior ministers from around the European Union are expected to focus on better ways to stem Syria-related violence when they meet in Brussels on Thursday.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called Sunday for better international coordination on the issue. His Belgian counterpart, Joelle Milquet, called the returnees “a generalized problem for all of Europe.”

The Brussels killings, which came on the eve of European Parliament elections in which far right parties had a strong showing, led Belgian officials to boost their anti-terror measures, and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism.

Two Israeli tourists and a French citizen were killed in the museum attack, and a fourth victim remains hospitalized hovering between life and death, the Belgian prosecutor said Sunday.

The European Jewish Congress welcomed the arrest and urged European authorities to act faster and more aggressively to prevent such crimes.

The suspect has said nothing to investigators so far during his interrogations, Molins said.

Nemmouche’s former lawyer, Soulifa Badaoui, described him on BFM television as someone “in difficulty” who went from foster home to foster home and often lived in vehicles. She said he was an intelligent person with serious family problems.

The attack and the arrest highlight the challenge for European authorities in tracking homegrown extremists, often alienated youths from immigrant backgrounds with few job prospects, when they travel to and from Syria.

French President Francois Hollande promised Sunday to “fight” homegrown radicals who come home from Syria with violent plans.

France has western Europe’s largest Muslim population, and while it is overwhelmingly moderate, authorities say several hundred French people have left to join Islamic radicals fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army.

The French government recently introduced measures to try to stop disaffected youth from leaving in the first place, and better track those who go to Syria and come back.

“The whole government is mobilized to follow the jihadists, and prevent them from being able to cause harm” especially when they come home to France or elsewhere in Europe, Hollande said on an official visit to Normandy.

The attack and the arrest revived memories of Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman who trained with extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then attacked a Jewish school and French paratroopers in southern France in 2012.

He killed seven people, including three children in an attack he captured on camera, before dying in a shootout with police. Those killings rocked France, prompting tougher anti-terrorism measures aimed at better tracking French citizens who pursue extremism abroad.

John-Thor Dahlburg reported from Brussels. Angela Charlton contributed from Paris.

Suspect in Jewish museum killings went to Syria

KDWN

PARIS (AP) — A suspected French jihadist who spent time in Syria is in custody over the shooting deaths of three people at a Belgian Jewish museum, prosecutors said Sunday, crystalizing fears that European radicals will parlay their experiences in Syria into terrorism back home.

When Mehdi Nemmouche was arrested in southern France on Friday, he was in possession of firearms, a large quantity of ammunition and a video claiming responsibility for the May 24 attack, a Belgian prosecutor said.

In a one-minute rampage that deeply shook Europe’s Jewish community, a gunman opened fire at the Brussels museum. In addition to the fatalities, another person was gravely wounded.

Authorities raised anti-terror alert levels as they searched for the attacker. But it was ultimately a customs inspection in the French port city of Marseille that turned up Nemmouche, as he disembarked from a bus coming from Amsterdam, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

The suspect had a revolver and a retractable automatic weapon like those used in the Brussels attack, and ballistics analyses were underway to determine if they were used in the attack, Molins said.

At least one of the weapons was wrapped up in a white sheet scrawled with the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an extremist group fighting in Syria, Molins said.

Nemmouche, a 29-year-old from northern France, had a criminal record, with seven convictions for crimes like attempted robbery – but nothing related to terrorism, Molins said.

He said the suspect became radicalized in prison, and left for Syria just three weeks after his last prison stay in late 2012, going to Syria via Brussels, London and Istanbul. He said the suspect had spent about a year in Syria, though it is unclear why he went and what he did while there.

Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw, in a separate news conference in Brussels on Sunday, said the suspect had tried to film the killings on May 24, but his camera failed.

A video found in his possession shows his weapons and clothes, and includes a voice claiming responsibility for the “attack in Brussels against Jews,” Van Leeuw said. He said it wasn’t certain whether the voice was that of the suspect.

Belgian police carried out raids in the Courtrai region of Belgium on Sunday morning, where the suspect is believed to have spent time, and were questioning two people there, Van Leeuw said.

The suspect has been handed to anti-terrorist investigators and could be held at least through Tuesday under French counterterrorism law.

“The new elements in this investigation draw attention once more to the problem of the `returnees’ -in other words the people going to Syria to participate in combat and return afterward to our country,” Van Leeuw said. “All European countries are confronted at this moment with this problem.”

Interior ministers from around the European Union are expected to focus on strengthening ways to stem Syria-related violence when they meet in Brussels on Thursday. Belgium’s interior minister, Joelle Milquet, called the returnees “a generalized problem for all of Europe.”

The Brussels killings, which came on the eve of European parliament elections in which far right parties had a strong showing, led Belgian officials to boost their anti-terror measures, and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism.

Two Israeli citizens and a French citizen were killed in the shooting, and a fourth victim remains hospitalized between life and death, the Belgian prosecutor said Sunday.

The European Jewish Congress welcomed the arrest in France and urged European authorities to act faster and more aggressively to prevent such crimes.

The suspect has said nothing to investigators so far during his interrogations, Molins said.

Nemmouche’s former lawyer, Soulifa Badaoui, described him on BFM television as someone “in difficulty” who went from foster home to foster home and often lived in vehicles. She said he didn’t seem like someone capable of such violence, but was an intelligent person with serious family problems.

The attack and the arrest highlight the challenge for European authorities in tracking extremists, often alienated youths from immigrant backgrounds and few job prospects, when they travel to and from Syria.

French President Francois Hollande promised Sunday to “fight” homegrown radicals who come home from Syria with violent plans.

Hundreds of people have left from France alone to fight in Syria’s three-year civil war with Islamic extremists. The French government recently introduced new measures to try to stop disaffected youth from leaving in the first place, and better track those who go to Syria and come back.

Hollande said those efforts would be “amplified” in the coming months, without elaborating.

“The whole government is mobilized to follow the jihadists, and prevent them from being able to cause harm” especially when they come home to France or elsewhere in Europe, Hollande said on an official visit to Normandy.

The attack and the arrest revived memories of Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman who trained with extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then attacked a Jewish school and French paratroopers in southern France in 2012.

He killed seven people, including three children, before dying in a shootout with police. Those killings rocked France, prompting tougher anti-terrorism measures aimed at better tracking French citizens who pursue extremism abroad.

John-Thor Dahlburg reported from Brussels. Angela Charlton contributed from Paris.

Suspect in Jewish museum killings went to Syria

KDWN

PARIS (AP) — A suspected French jihadist who spent time in Syria is in custody over the shooting deaths of three people at a Belgian Jewish museum, prosecutors said Sunday, crystalizing fears that European radicals will parlay their experiences in Syria into terrorism back home.

When Mehdi Nemmouche was arrested in southern France on Friday, he was in possession of firearms, a large quantity of ammunition and a video claiming responsibility for the May 24 attack, a Belgian prosecutor said.

In a one-minute rampage that deeply shook Europe’s Jewish community, a gunman opened fire at the Brussels museum. In addition to the fatalities, another person was gravely wounded.

Authorities raised anti-terror alert levels as they searched for the attacker. But it was ultimately a customs inspection in the French port city of Marseille that turned up Nemmouche, as he disembarked from a bus coming from Amsterdam, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

The suspect had a revolver and a retractable automatic weapon like those used in the Brussels attack, and ballistics analyses were underway to determine if they were used in the attack, Molins said.

At least one of the weapons was wrapped up in a white sheet scrawled with the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an extremist group fighting in Syria, Molins said.

Nemmouche, a 29-year-old from northern France, had a criminal record, with seven convictions for crimes like attempted robbery – but nothing related to terrorism, Molins said.

He said the suspect became radicalized in prison, and left for Syria just three weeks after his last prison stay in late 2012, going to Syria via Brussels, London and Istanbul. He said the suspect had spent about a year in Syria, though it is unclear why he went and what he did while there.

Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw, in a separate news conference in Brussels on Sunday, said the suspect had tried to film the killings on May 24, but his camera failed.

A video found in his possession shows his weapons and clothes, and includes a voice claiming responsibility for the “attack in Brussels against Jews,” Van Leeuw said. He said it wasn’t certain whether the voice was that of the suspect.

Belgian police carried out raids in the Courtrai region of Belgium on Sunday morning, where the suspect is believed to have spent time, and were questioning two people there, Van Leeuw said.

The suspect has been handed to anti-terrorist investigators and could be held at least through Tuesday under French counterterrorism law.

“The new elements in this investigation draw attention once more to the problem of the `returnees’ -in other words the people going to Syria to participate in combat and return afterward to our country,” Van Leeuw said. “All European countries are confronted at this moment with this problem.”

Interior ministers from around the European Union are expected to focus on strengthening ways to stem Syria-related violence when they meet in Brussels on Thursday. Belgium’s interior minister, Joelle Milquet, called the returnees “a generalized problem for all of Europe.”

The Brussels killings, which came on the eve of European parliament elections in which far right parties had a strong showing, led Belgian officials to boost their anti-terror measures, and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism.

Two Israeli citizens and a French citizen were killed in the shooting, and a fourth victim remains hospitalized between life and death, the Belgian prosecutor said Sunday.

The European Jewish Congress welcomed the arrest in France and urged European authorities to act faster and more aggressively to prevent such crimes.

The suspect has said nothing to investigators so far during his interrogations, Molins said.

Nemmouche’s former lawyer, Soulifa Badaoui, described him on BFM television as someone “in difficulty” who went from foster home to foster home and often lived in vehicles. She said he didn’t seem like someone capable of such violence, but was an intelligent person with serious family problems.

The attack and the arrest highlight the challenge for European authorities in tracking extremists, often alienated youths from immigrant backgrounds and few job prospects, when they travel to and from Syria.

French President Francois Hollande promised Sunday to “fight” homegrown radicals who come home from Syria with violent plans.

Hundreds of people have left from France alone to fight in Syria’s three-year civil war with Islamic extremists. The French government recently introduced new measures to try to stop disaffected youth from leaving in the first place, and better track those who go to Syria and come back.

Hollande said those efforts would be “amplified” in the coming months, without elaborating.

“The whole government is mobilized to follow the jihadists, and prevent them from being able to cause harm” especially when they come home to France or elsewhere in Europe, Hollande said on an official visit to Normandy.

The attack and the arrest revived memories of Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman who trained with extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then attacked a Jewish school and French paratroopers in southern France in 2012.

He killed seven people, including three children, before dying in a shootout with police. Those killings rocked France, prompting tougher anti-terrorism measures aimed at better tracking French citizens who pursue extremism abroad.

John-Thor Dahlburg reported from Brussels. Angela Charlton contributed from Paris.

Suspect in Jewish museum killings went to Syria

KDWN

PARIS (AP) — A suspected French jihadist who spent time in Syria is in custody over the shooting deaths of three people at a Belgian Jewish museum, prosecutors said Sunday, crystalizing fears that European radicals will parlay their experiences in Syria into terrorism back home.

When Mehdi Nemmouche was arrested in southern France on Friday, he was in possession of firearms, a large quantity of ammunition and a video claiming responsibility for the May 24 attack, a Belgian prosecutor said.

In a one-minute rampage that deeply shook Europe’s Jewish community, a gunman opened fire at the Brussels museum. In addition to the fatalities, another person was gravely wounded.

Authorities raised anti-terror alert levels as they searched for the attacker. But it was ultimately a customs inspection in the French port city of Marseille that turned up Nemmouche, as he disembarked from a bus coming from Amsterdam, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

The suspect had a revolver and a retractable automatic weapon like those used in the Brussels attack, and ballistics analyses were underway to determine if they were used in the attack, Molins said.

At least one of the weapons was wrapped up in a white sheet scrawled with the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an extremist group fighting in Syria, Molins said.

Nemmouche, a 29-year-old from northern France, had a criminal record, with seven convictions for crimes like attempted robbery – but nothing related to terrorism, Molins said.

He said the suspect became radicalized in prison, and left for Syria just three weeks after his last prison stay in late 2012, going to Syria via Brussels, London and Istanbul. He said the suspect had spent about a year in Syria, though it is unclear why he went and what he did while there.

Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw, in a separate news conference in Brussels on Sunday, said the suspect had tried to film the killings on May 24, but his camera failed.

A video found in his possession shows his weapons and clothes, and includes a voice claiming responsibility for the “attack in Brussels against Jews,” Van Leeuw said. He said it wasn’t certain whether the voice was that of the suspect.

Belgian police carried out raids in the Courtrai region of Belgium on Sunday morning, where the suspect is believed to have spent time, and were questioning two people there, Van Leeuw said.

The suspect has been handed to anti-terrorist investigators and could be held at least through Tuesday under French counterterrorism law.

“The new elements in this investigation draw attention once more to the problem of the `returnees’ -in other words the people going to Syria to participate in combat and return afterward to our country,” Van Leeuw said. “All European countries are confronted at this moment with this problem.”

Interior ministers from around the European Union are expected to focus on strengthening ways to stem Syria-related violence when they meet in Brussels on Thursday. Belgium’s interior minister, Joelle Milquet, called the returnees “a generalized problem for all of Europe.”

The Brussels killings, which came on the eve of European parliament elections in which far right parties had a strong showing, led Belgian officials to boost their anti-terror measures, and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism.

Two Israeli citizens and a French citizen were killed in the shooting, and a fourth victim remains hospitalized between life and death, the Belgian prosecutor said Sunday.

The European Jewish Congress welcomed the arrest in France and urged European authorities to act faster and more aggressively to prevent such crimes.

The suspect has said nothing to investigators so far during his interrogations, Molins said.

Nemmouche’s former lawyer, Soulifa Badaoui, described him on BFM television as someone “in difficulty” who went from foster home to foster home and often lived in vehicles. She said he didn’t seem like someone capable of such violence, but was an intelligent person with serious family problems.

The attack and the arrest highlight the challenge for European authorities in tracking extremists, often alienated youths from immigrant backgrounds and few job prospects, when they travel to and from Syria.

French President Francois Hollande promised Sunday to “fight” homegrown radicals who come home from Syria with violent plans.

Hundreds of people have left from France alone to fight in Syria’s three-year civil war with Islamic extremists. The French government recently introduced new measures to try to stop disaffected youth from leaving in the first place, and better track those who go to Syria and come back.

Hollande said those efforts would be “amplified” in the coming months, without elaborating.

“The whole government is mobilized to follow the jihadists, and prevent them from being able to cause harm” especially when they come home to France or elsewhere in Europe, Hollande said on an official visit to Normandy.

The attack and the arrest revived memories of Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman who trained with extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then attacked a Jewish school and French paratroopers in southern France in 2012.

He killed seven people, including three children, before dying in a shootout with police. Those killings rocked France, prompting tougher anti-terrorism measures aimed at better tracking French citizens who pursue extremism abroad.

John-Thor Dahlburg reported from Brussels. Angela Charlton contributed from Paris.

Suspect in Jewish museum killings went to Syria

KDWN

PARIS (AP) — A suspected French jihadist who spent time in Syria is in custody over the shooting deaths of three people at a Belgian Jewish museum, prosecutors said Sunday, crystalizing fears that European radicals will parlay their experiences in Syria into terrorism back home.

When Mehdi Nemmouche was arrested in southern France on Friday, he was in possession of firearms, a large quantity of ammunition and a video claiming responsibility for the May 24 attack, a Belgian prosecutor said.

In a one-minute rampage that deeply shook Europe’s Jewish community, a gunman opened fire at the Brussels museum. In addition to the fatalities, another person was gravely wounded.

Authorities raised anti-terror alert levels as they searched for the attacker. But it was ultimately a customs inspection in the French port city of Marseille that turned up Nemmouche, as he disembarked from a bus coming from Amsterdam, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

The suspect had a revolver and a retractable automatic weapon like those used in the Brussels attack, and ballistics analyses were underway to determine if they were used in the attack, Molins said.

At least one of the weapons was wrapped up in a white sheet scrawled with the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an extremist group fighting in Syria, Molins said.

Nemmouche, a 29-year-old from northern France, had a criminal record, with seven convictions for crimes like attempted robbery – but nothing related to terrorism, Molins said.

He said the suspect became radicalized in prison, and left for Syria just three weeks after his last prison stay in late 2012, going to Syria via Brussels, London and Istanbul. He said the suspect had spent about a year in Syria, though it is unclear why he went and what he did while there.

Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw, in a separate news conference in Brussels on Sunday, said the suspect had tried to film the killings on May 24, but his camera failed.

A video found in his possession shows his weapons and clothes, and includes a voice claiming responsibility for the “attack in Brussels against Jews,” Van Leeuw said. He said it wasn’t certain whether the voice was that of the suspect.

Belgian police carried out raids in the Courtrai region of Belgium on Sunday morning, where the suspect is believed to have spent time, and were questioning two people there, Van Leeuw said.

The suspect has been handed to anti-terrorist investigators and could be held at least through Tuesday under French counterterrorism law.

“The new elements in this investigation draw attention once more to the problem of the `returnees’ -in other words the people going to Syria to participate in combat and return afterward to our country,” Van Leeuw said. “All European countries are confronted at this moment with this problem.”

Interior ministers from around the European Union are expected to focus on strengthening ways to stem Syria-related violence when they meet in Brussels on Thursday. Belgium’s interior minister, Joelle Milquet, called the returnees “a generalized problem for all of Europe.”

The Brussels killings, which came on the eve of European parliament elections in which far right parties had a strong showing, led Belgian officials to boost their anti-terror measures, and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism.

Two Israeli citizens and a French citizen were killed in the shooting, and a fourth victim remains hospitalized between life and death, the Belgian prosecutor said Sunday.

The European Jewish Congress welcomed the arrest in France and urged European authorities to act faster and more aggressively to prevent such crimes.

The suspect has said nothing to investigators so far during his interrogations, Molins said.

Nemmouche’s former lawyer, Soulifa Badaoui, described him on BFM television as someone “in difficulty” who went from foster home to foster home and often lived in vehicles. She said he didn’t seem like someone capable of such violence, but was an intelligent person with serious family problems.

The attack and the arrest highlight the challenge for European authorities in tracking extremists, often alienated youths from immigrant backgrounds and few job prospects, when they travel to and from Syria.

French President Francois Hollande promised Sunday to “fight” homegrown radicals who come home from Syria with violent plans.

Hundreds of people have left from France alone to fight in Syria’s three-year civil war with Islamic extremists. The French government recently introduced new measures to try to stop disaffected youth from leaving in the first place, and better track those who go to Syria and come back.

Hollande said those efforts would be “amplified” in the coming months, without elaborating.

“The whole government is mobilized to follow the jihadists, and prevent them from being able to cause harm” especially when they come home to France or elsewhere in Europe, Hollande said on an official visit to Normandy.

The attack and the arrest revived memories of Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman who trained with extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then attacked a Jewish school and French paratroopers in southern France in 2012.

He killed seven people, including three children, before dying in a shootout with police. Those killings rocked France, prompting tougher anti-terrorism measures aimed at better tracking French citizens who pursue extremism abroad.

John-Thor Dahlburg reported from Brussels. Angela Charlton contributed from Paris.

Suspect in Jewish museum killings went to Syria

KDWN

PARIS (AP) — A suspected French jihadist who spent time in Syria is in custody over the shooting deaths of three people at a Belgian Jewish museum, prosecutors said Sunday, crystalizing fears that European radicals will parlay their experiences in Syria into terrorism back home.

When Mehdi Nemmouche was arrested in southern France on Friday, he was in possession of firearms, a large quantity of ammunition and a video claiming responsibility for the May 24 attack, a Belgian prosecutor said.

In a one-minute rampage that deeply shook Europe’s Jewish community, a gunman opened fire at the Brussels museum. In addition to the fatalities, another person was gravely wounded.

Authorities raised anti-terror alert levels as they searched for the attacker. But it was ultimately a customs inspection in the French port city of Marseille that turned up Nemmouche, as he disembarked from a bus coming from Amsterdam, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said.

The suspect had a revolver and a retractable automatic weapon like those used in the Brussels attack, and ballistics analyses were underway to determine if they were used in the attack, Molins said.

At least one of the weapons was wrapped up in a white sheet scrawled with the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an extremist group fighting in Syria, Molins said.

Nemmouche, a 29-year-old from northern France, had a criminal record, with seven convictions for crimes like attempted robbery – but nothing related to terrorism, Molins said.

He said the suspect became radicalized in prison, and left for Syria just three weeks after his last prison stay in late 2012, going to Syria via Brussels, London and Istanbul. He said the suspect had spent about a year in Syria, though it is unclear why he went and what he did while there.

Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw, in a separate news conference in Brussels on Sunday, said the suspect had tried to film the killings on May 24, but his camera failed.

A video found in his possession shows his weapons and clothes, and includes a voice claiming responsibility for the “attack in Brussels against Jews,” Van Leeuw said. He said it wasn’t certain whether the voice was that of the suspect.

Belgian police carried out raids in the Courtrai region of Belgium on Sunday morning, where the suspect is believed to have spent time, and were questioning two people there, Van Leeuw said.

The suspect has been handed to anti-terrorist investigators and could be held at least through Tuesday under French counterterrorism law.

“The new elements in this investigation draw attention once more to the problem of the `returnees’ -in other words the people going to Syria to participate in combat and return afterward to our country,” Van Leeuw said. “All European countries are confronted at this moment with this problem.”

Interior ministers from around the European Union are expected to focus on strengthening ways to stem Syria-related violence when they meet in Brussels on Thursday. Belgium’s interior minister, Joelle Milquet, called the returnees “a generalized problem for all of Europe.”

The Brussels killings, which came on the eve of European parliament elections in which far right parties had a strong showing, led Belgian officials to boost their anti-terror measures, and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism.

Two Israeli citizens and a French citizen were killed in the shooting, and a fourth victim remains hospitalized between life and death, the Belgian prosecutor said Sunday.

The European Jewish Congress welcomed the arrest in France and urged European authorities to act faster and more aggressively to prevent such crimes.

The suspect has said nothing to investigators so far during his interrogations, Molins said.

Nemmouche’s former lawyer, Soulifa Badaoui, described him on BFM television as someone “in difficulty” who went from foster home to foster home and often lived in vehicles. She said he didn’t seem like someone capable of such violence, but was an intelligent person with serious family problems.

The attack and the arrest highlight the challenge for European authorities in tracking extremists, often alienated youths from immigrant backgrounds and few job prospects, when they travel to and from Syria.

French President Francois Hollande promised Sunday to “fight” homegrown radicals who come home from Syria with violent plans.

Hundreds of people have left from France alone to fight in Syria’s three-year civil war with Islamic extremists. The French government recently introduced new measures to try to stop disaffected youth from leaving in the first place, and better track those who go to Syria and come back.

Hollande said those efforts would be “amplified” in the coming months, without elaborating.

“The whole government is mobilized to follow the jihadists, and prevent them from being able to cause harm” especially when they come home to France or elsewhere in Europe, Hollande said on an official visit to Normandy.

The attack and the arrest revived memories of Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman who trained with extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then attacked a Jewish school and French paratroopers in southern France in 2012.

He killed seven people, including three children, before dying in a shootout with police. Those killings rocked France, prompting tougher anti-terrorism measures aimed at better tracking French citizens who pursue extremism abroad.

John-Thor Dahlburg reported from Brussels. Angela Charlton contributed from Paris.

Suspect in Jewish museum killings went to Syria

KDWN

PARIS (AP) — A suspected French jihadist arrested over killings at a Belgian Jewish museum had traveled to Syria and claimed responsibility for the shootings in a video, prosecutors said Sunday.

Fears have been mounting in European countries that the hundreds of European radicals who are joining the fight in Syria against President Bashar Assad could stage attacks when they get home.

Police in the southeastern French city of Marseille arrested the suspect, Mehdi Nemmouche, on Friday after he arrived on a bus from Amsterdam, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters. The suspect had an automatic weapon like that used in the Brussels attack, and ballistics analyses were under way to determine if it is the same weapon, Molins said.

It was not immediately clear what Nemmouche was doing in Syria, but the suspect’s gun was wrapped up in a white sheet scrawled with the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an extremist group fighting in Syria, Molins said. He said the suspect had spent about a year in Syria.

Molins also said that Nemmouche, a 29-year-old from northern France, had a criminal record, with seven convictions for crimes like attempted robbery – but nothing related to terrorism.

At a separate and nearly simultaneous news conference in Brussels, Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said 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, Van Leeuw said.

Belgian police carried out raids in case in the Courtrai region of Belgium on Sunday morning, where the suspect is believed to have spent time, and are questioning two people there, Van Leeuw said.

“The new elements in this investigation draw attention once more to the problem of the `returnees’ -in other words the people going to Syria to participate in combat and return afterward to our country,” he said. “All European countries are confronted at this moment with this problem.”

The Brussels killings, which came on the eve of European parliament elections in which far right parties had a strong showing, led Belgian officials to boost their anti-terror measures, and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism.

Two Israeli citizens and a French citizen were killed. A fourth victim remains hospitalized between life and death, the Belgian prosecutor said Sunday.

Video of the attack showed an athletic man with cap walking determinedly into the small Jewish Museum. The whole assault took a minute at most.

The suspect has been handed to anti-terrorist investigators and could be held at least through Tuesday under French counterterrorism law.

French President Francois Hollande promised Sunday to “fight” homegrown radicals who come home from Syria with violent plans.

Hundreds of people have left from France alone to fight in Syria’s 3-year-old civil war with Islamic extremists. The French government recently introduced new measures to try to stop disaffected youth from leaving in the first place, and better track those who go to Syria and come back.

Hollande said those efforts would be “amplified” in the coming months, without elaborating.

“The whole government is mobilized to follow the jihadists, and prevent them from being able to cause harm” especially when they come home to France or elsewhere in Europe, Hollande said on an official visit to Normandy.

Dahlburg reported from Brussels. Elaine Ganley contributed from Paris.

Suspect in Jewish museum killings went to Syria

KDWN

PARIS (AP) — A suspected French jihadist arrested over killings at a Belgian Jewish museum had traveled to Syria and claimed responsibility for the shootings in a video, prosecutors said Sunday.

Fears have been mounting in European countries that the hundreds of European radicals who are joining the fight in Syria against President Bashar Assad could stage attacks when they get home.

Police in the southeastern French city of Marseille arrested the suspect, Mehdi Nemmouche, on Friday after he arrived on a bus from Amsterdam, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters. The suspect had an automatic weapon like that used in the Brussels attack, and ballistics analyses were under way to determine if it is the same weapon, Molins said.

It was not immediately clear what Nemmouche was doing in Syria, but the suspect’s gun was wrapped up in a white sheet scrawled with the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an extremist group fighting in Syria, Molins said. He said the suspect had spent about a year in Syria.

Molins also said that Nemmouche, a 29-year-old from northern France, had a criminal record, with seven convictions for crimes like attempted robbery – but nothing related to terrorism.

At a separate and nearly simultaneous news conference in Brussels, Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said 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, Van Leeuw said.

Belgian police carried out raids in case in the Courtrai region of Belgium on Sunday morning, where the suspect is believed to have spent time, and are questioning two people there, Van Leeuw said.

“The new elements in this investigation draw attention once more to the problem of the `returnees’ -in other words the people going to Syria to participate in combat and return afterward to our country,” he said. “All European countries are confronted at this moment with this problem.”

The Brussels killings, which came on the eve of European parliament elections in which far right parties had a strong showing, led Belgian officials to boost their anti-terror measures, and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism.

Two Israeli citizens and a French citizen were killed. A fourth victim remains hospitalized between life and death, the Belgian prosecutor said Sunday.

Video of the attack showed an athletic man with cap walking determinedly into the small Jewish Museum. The whole assault took a minute at most.

The suspect has been handed to anti-terrorist investigators and could be held at least through Tuesday under French counterterrorism law.

French President Francois Hollande promised Sunday to “fight” homegrown radicals who come home from Syria with violent plans.

Hundreds of people have left from France alone to fight in Syria’s 3-year-old civil war with Islamic extremists. The French government recently introduced new measures to try to stop disaffected youth from leaving in the first place, and better track those who go to Syria and come back.

Hollande said those efforts would be “amplified” in the coming months, without elaborating.

“The whole government is mobilized to follow the jihadists, and prevent them from being able to cause harm” especially when they come home to France or elsewhere in Europe, Hollande said on an official visit to Normandy.

Dahlburg reported from Brussels. Elaine Ganley contributed from Paris.

Suspect in Jewish museum killings went to Syria

KDWN

PARIS (AP) — A suspected French jihadist arrested over killings at a Belgian Jewish museum had traveled to Syria and claimed responsibility for the shootings in a video, prosecutors said Sunday.

Fears have been mounting in European countries that the hundreds of European radicals who are joining the fight in Syria against President Bashar Assad could stage attacks when they get home.

Police in the southeastern French city of Marseille arrested the suspect, Mehdi Nemmouche, on Friday after he arrived on a bus from Amsterdam, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters. The suspect had an automatic weapon like that used in the Brussels attack, and ballistics analyses were under way to determine if it is the same weapon, Molins said.

It was not immediately clear what Nemmouche was doing in Syria, but the suspect’s gun was wrapped up in a white sheet scrawled with the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an extremist group fighting in Syria, Molins said. He said the suspect had spent about a year in Syria.

Molins also said that Nemmouche, a 29-year-old from northern France, had a criminal record, with seven convictions for crimes like attempted robbery – but nothing related to terrorism.

At a separate and nearly simultaneous news conference in Brussels, Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said 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, Van Leeuw said.

Belgian police carried out raids in case in the Courtrai region of Belgium on Sunday morning, where the suspect is believed to have spent time, and are questioning two people there, Van Leeuw said.

“The new elements in this investigation draw attention once more to the problem of the `returnees’ -in other words the people going to Syria to participate in combat and return afterward to our country,” he said. “All European countries are confronted at this moment with this problem.”

The Brussels killings, which came on the eve of European parliament elections in which far right parties had a strong showing, led Belgian officials to boost their anti-terror measures, and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism.

Two Israeli citizens and a French citizen were killed. A fourth victim remains hospitalized between life and death, the Belgian prosecutor said Sunday.

Video of the attack showed an athletic man with cap walking determinedly into the small Jewish Museum. The whole assault took a minute at most.

The suspect has been handed to anti-terrorist investigators and could be held at least through Tuesday under French counterterrorism law.

French President Francois Hollande promised Sunday to “fight” homegrown radicals who come home from Syria with violent plans.

Hundreds of people have left from France alone to fight in Syria’s 3-year-old civil war with Islamic extremists. The French government recently introduced new measures to try to stop disaffected youth from leaving in the first place, and better track those who go to Syria and come back.

Hollande said those efforts would be “amplified” in the coming months, without elaborating.

“The whole government is mobilized to follow the jihadists, and prevent them from being able to cause harm” especially when they come home to France or elsewhere in Europe, Hollande said on an official visit to Normandy.

Dahlburg reported from Brussels. Elaine Ganley contributed from Paris.

Suspect in Jewish museum killings went to Syria

KDWN

PARIS (AP) — Prosecutors say that a Frenchman arrested over killings at a Belgian Jewish museum 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 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.

The shootings raised fears that the hundreds of Europeans who have gone to join Islamic extremists in Syria could stage attacks back home.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

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.

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 was arrested Friday during a customs inspection at a train and bus station in the port city of Marseille, an official with the Paris prosecutor’s office said. The man had arrived in Marseille on a bus from Amsterdam that had stopped in Brussels, she said.

The man was found to have a revolver and an automatic weapon of the same type used in the Brussels shootings May 24, and ballistics analyses are under way to determine if it is the same weapon, she said. A police official said the suspect is a 29-year-old man from the northern city of Roubaix, near Belgium.

Both officials were not authorized to be publicly named when speaking of ongoing investigations. Prosecutors in Paris and Brussels were expected to give a news conference Sunday on the matter.

The suspect has been handed to anti-terrorist investigators and could be held at least through Tuesday under French counterterrorism law.

Hundreds of people have left from France alone to fight in Syria’s 3-year-old civil war with Islamic extremists. The French government recently introduced new measures to try to stop disaffected youth from leaving in the first place, and better track those who go to Syria and come back.

Hollande said those efforts would be “amplified” in the coming months, without elaborating.

“The whole government is mobilized to follow the jihadists, and prevent them from being able to cause harm” especially when they come home to France or elsewhere in Europe, he said on an official visit to Normandy.

The Brussels killings, which came on the eve of European parliament elections in which far right parties had a strong showing, led Belgian officials to raise anti-terror measures and raised fears of rising anti-Semitism.

Two Israeli citizens and a French citizen were killed.

Video of the attack showed an athletic man with cap walking determinedly into the small Jewish Museum. The whole assault took a minute at most.

The European Jewish Congress welcomed the arrest in France and urged European authorities to act faster and more aggressively to prevent such crimes.

The attack and the arrest revived memories of Mohamed Merah, a Frenchman who trained with extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then attacked a Jewish school and French paratroopers in southern France in 2012. He killed seven people, including three children, before dying in a shootout with police.

Those killings rocked France, prompting tougher anti-terrorism measures aimed at better tracking French citizens who pursue extremism abroad.