DAILYKENN.com -- Europe's most wanted terrorist apparently never left his neighborhood.
"Moderate" Muslims hid Salah Abdeslam for four months, allowing his to evade authorities.
The accused terrorist was arrested in the Brussels, Belgium neighborhood where he grew up.
After the Paris attacks, security forces searched far and wide for prime suspect Salah Abdeslam, who vanished after returning to Brussels, believing Islamic State could have spirited him away to Turkey, Syria or Morocco.
It appears Europe's most wanted man never left the Belgian capital. And it was family, friends and petty criminals who helped him evade a manhunt for four months before he was arrested on Friday in the neighbourhood he grew up in, not far from his parents' home.
As security services seek to understand how Islamic State operates in Europe to prevent more attacks, Abdeslam's case highlights the difficulty of tracking suspects who can rely on the protection of community networks, many of which do not involve religious radicals and are not on the police radar.
"Abdeslam relied on a large network of friends and relatives that already existed for drug dealing and petty crime to keep him in hiding," Belgium's federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said of the only surviving suspect of the Nov. 13 attacks that killed 130 people in Paris.
"This was about the solidarity of neighbours, families," Van Leeuw told public broadcaster RTBF, speaking about Abdeslam's ability to hide for so long despite 24,000 calls from the public to a Belgian police hotline seeking information about the suspected attackers.
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