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Brussels attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini ‘admitted taking photos of Manchester football stadium’

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Brussels attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini ‘admitted taking photos of Manchester football stadium’

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Mohamed Abrini said pictures of a Manchester stadium had nothing to do with reconnaissance Federal Police/AFP

Terror suspect Mohamed Abrini has reportedly told Belgian police that he took photos of a football stadium in Manchester.

Abrini was a key suspect in the Paris attacks in November 2015 and was caught on CCTV fleeing after the Brussels airport attack in March.

Belgian TV News Channel VTM claims to have seen Abrini’s first interrogation after his arrest in Brussels in April.

The report says the Paris and Brussels cells were part of the same network, with suspect Salah Abdeslam playing a larger role in the two attacks than previously thought.

“[Paris attack architect Abdelhamid] Abaaoud gave Abrini instructions: he had to go to England and get money, and he did this,” the report says. “He went to Turkey and via Istanbul went to London, travelled to Birmingham, picked up £3,000 meant for Abbaaoud’s younger brother, and finally returned to Paris via Manchester.”

“While he was in England, he also visited Manchester’s football stadium, took photos of it.”

Abrini allegedly told police officers the photos of the Manchester stadium had nothing to do with reconnaissance for a potential terror attack. The report continued: “In his interrogation, he said the photos had nothing to do with reconnaissance of the stadium, and there was no link with the Stade de France [one terror target in 2015]. Whether the police attach any credence to this is something else.”

While discussing how he repeatedly escaped detection from Belgian police and soldiers by wearing a cap, Abrini reportedly said: “Security at the borders can never stop an attack.”

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