Brussels shooter refuses extradition from France

Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, is suspected of shooting and killing four people at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels (pictured). Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( The French man arrested in connection with the shooting at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels is refusing extradition from France, prosecutors and his lawyer said Wednesday. Four people were killed in the shooting, including Israeli tourists Emmanuel and Miriam Riva.

Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, had been incarcerated five times in France before spending most of 2013 fighting in Syria, prosecutors said. He was arrested again Friday in Marseille, France. Authorities said he is being held under anti-terror laws on suspicion of murder, attempted murder, and possession of weapons, reported Reuters

Nemmouche refused to be extradited when presented with a European arrest warrant before a court hearing in Versailles outside Paris.

"We would like him to be tried in France first because he is French, and he is in France," Nemmouche's lawyer Apolin Pepiezep said in a press statement before the hearing, according to AFP.

Furthermore, "nothing connects him to the murders," because Nemmouche had stolen the AK-47 assault rifle and handgun that were discovered in his possession May 30 and planned to sell them, the lawyer said, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Meanwhile, a senior French intelligence source told Israel Hayom that there could be as many as 20 jihadist terrorists currently living in Europe and capable of committing violent attacks.

Posted on June 4, 2014 .