Few days before Salah Abdel Salam stands trial before the Belgian judiciary in Brussels on the 5th of February, a technical report on the bloody attacks that hit Paris in November 2015 revealed that the explosive belt that he was wearing had a technical fault and did not explode.
Abdel Salam is the only attacker who survived.
Abdel Salam was arrested after a shootout in the Brussels district of Molenbeek in March 2016. Few days following his arrest, attacks at an airport and metro station in Brussels took place killing at least 32 and injuring around 300 people.
An explanation for what happened was that Abdel Salam, the only survivor of the group who carried out the terrorist attacks, the most violent in the history of France, retreated from detonating his explosive belt at the last minute, unlike the other suicide bombers who were killed in the attacks, including his older brother Ibrahim.
Investigators noticed shortly after the attack that the suicide belt lacked the battery and the compressor button. The report confirmed that a wire inside the belt as well as a piece of the bomber were both damaged and thus disabled the belt.
This was also confirmed by witnesses who testified that Abdel Salam had revealed to friends and to the person who hosted him in Brussels that the belt was not working.
Abdeslam is a Belgium-born French national of Moroccan descent.