How the Brussels terror suspect evaded capture for several months

Belgium Attacks
Police investigate an area where terror suspect Mohamed Abrini was arrested earlier today, in Brussels on Friday April 8, 2016. The federal prosecutor's office confirmed a fugitive suspect in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks was arrested in Belgium on Friday, after a raid Belgian authorities said was linked to the deadly March 22 Brussels bombings. The suspect, Mohamed Abrini, is believed to be the mysterious "man in the hat" who escaped the double bombing at Brussels airport, but further investigation is needed to determine Abrini is the third suspect of the airport attack. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

(CNN) – This is the building where Mohamed Abrini spent his last night of freedom.  The next day, as he walked along this busy little street, just 20 meters away, police pounced on him.

Later that night, they raided the apartment he slept in, as this amateur video shows the front door was also dusted for fingerprints.  The woman who lives here arrested, but later released without charge.

We were invited into the building by the man who filmed the raid, her neighbor Joseph.

We go to a park away from his home, where he feels more comfortable talking to us and he explains how he saw Abrini in his neighborhood, though he didn’t recognize him, “He shaved his beard, cut his hair really short. Now that I have seen his picture all over the media it’s like a flashback, I saw him last week a few days before his arrest but I didn’t recognize him. It was very brief. I saw him when I was going back home I wish I had recognized him.

As for the woman Abrini stayed with, she told CNN’s French affiliate she didn’t know he was a wanted man, but wouldn’t speak to us to confirm her story.

The woman told joseph she had met Abrini at one of the cafe’s near this local fresh food market and they got talking. She had just bought a new television and he acted the Good Samaritan and offered to help

It illustrates how one of the most wanted fugitives in Europe evaded authorities by hiding in plain sight, moving around in regular neighborhoods, living amidst unassuming residents.

Still, residents here want the world to know: Their neighborhood is not a haven for militants.

Copyright CNN 2016

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