Belgium jihad suspect agrees to be extradited: Greek justice source

AFP| Updated: Jan 20, 2015, 19:49 PM IST

A 33-year-old Algerian man with suspected links to the jihadist cell dismantled by Belgian security forces last week agreed on Tuesday to be extradited from Greece, a justice source said.

The suspect "wants to prove his innocence" and a Greek prosecutor has also agreed to meet Belgium`s request for the extradition, the source said. 

A judge is expected to finalise the procedure by Wednesday.

According to police, the suspect -- who was arrested on Saturday -- had previously served jail time in Greece on a robbery conviction but was released nearly a year ago.

The jihadist cell, which the authorities in Belgium said was plotting to kill police, was dismantled last week with a raid in the east of the country in which two suspects were killed.

According to the justice source, the suspect arrested in Greece drew the attention of Belgian authorities after making "three or four calls" from Athens to another suspected militant imprisoned in Belgium.

In his defence, the Algerian said he knew the man held in Belgium, whose alleged link to the plotters is still to be confirmed.

Belgian media have named Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a 27-year-old Belgian of Moroccan descent who remains at large, as the presumed mastermind of the cell. 

The foiled attacks in Belgium have led to arrests in several European countries.