Yassin Abboud, the younger brother of Abdelhamid Abboud, who is said to be the operational leader of the November 13 assassination commandos, testified in the Special Aid Court on Thursday, satisfied with vague responses that exceeded the expectations of the court and civil parties.
“As for the facts, I have not been able to give you information. Therefore, I do not know if I can greatly benefit from this investigation,” Yassin Abboud confirmed from the outset testifying from his seat at the Belgian Federal. Attorney’s Office in Brussels.
“About my brother, I know nothing,” the 26-year-old insists, wearing a white hooded sweatshirt and his lower face covered with a black mask.
The young man, who knows little, agrees to show a little compassion. “I feel sorry for the victims (of the attacks), the innocent people who were killed in all four corners of the world.”
The president pays attention, but wants to know if he knows some of the defendants, including Salah Abdeslam, who was again out of the box with two co-defendants, Osama Gray and Sofian Ayari.
“No,” Yassin Abboud replies. “What do you know about that? It’s my brother’s generation. I can not answer.”
Throughout his testimony, the young man was implicit.
Brother’s extremism? “My older brother left the family at the age of 16. I do not know his activities, dating,” he says, bowing his head.
“What was your brother doing in Syria? Travel?” To the question, “I do not know,” he answers lightly.
His older brother, Yassin Abboud, describes him as “quite a character.” “He made his choices, he made his decisions, and then he made them.”
“What does it mean + a hellish character +”? “, The first evaluator is surprised.” Oh, he had a character, he was a dictator “, the young man compensates for it.
“Did my brother really do that?” Yassin Abboud could not help but ask himself several times in court. “There is no doubt that your brother did it. It was unfortunately established,” the president said.
A civil party lawyer drives the point home. “On the evening of November 13 did you think your brother could be behind all this?” Yassin Abboud hesitates for a moment and sighs: “That evening, it might be like that in one corner of his head”.
– “Forgiveness for Terrorism” –
He says he has not had any contact with his brother since January 2015.
At the time, the young man recalled, he was in prison in Belgium for a common law case. Abdelhamid Abboud called him to talk about the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
“He told me it was the beginning,” Yassin said.
– “What did you say?” The President asks.
– “I hung up”
– “You agreed with what he told you,” the president insists
– “Of course not!”.
Yassin Abboud is no stranger to the jihadi environment. Arrested in Morocco in September 2015, he was sentenced in May 2016 to two years in prison by a Moroccan judge for “apologizing for terrorism” and “not condemning terrorist crimes.” He was released from prison in September 2018.
The president and his assessors are reviewing his statements to Moroccan investigators. Yassin Abboud denies the allegations made against him. “I signed a declaration in Arabic, a language I do not know,” he said. “Everything is wrong,” he says.
The sentiment finally pierces when the court triggers the fate of Younes, the last of the abducted siblings in 2014 when Abdelhamid Abboud was 13 years old. Younes may have died in the Iraq-Syria region.
“We still hope my little brother will come back. His demise broke our hearts. He is not responsible, he does not know where he is going,” he said with a sigh.
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