France Will Extradite Alleged Brussels Jewish Museum Shooter

A Memorial outside The Jewish Museum, Brussels after the shooting on May 24. Photo: Virginia Mayo, courtesy the Associated Press.

Despite his lawyer’s efforts to keep him in France, Mehdi Nemmouche, the 29-year-old who allegedly shot and killed four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum on May 24 (see artnet News report), will be extradited to Belgium, reports Agence France Presse.

A French citizen, Nemmouche had initially refused to consent to a European arrest warrant, fearing he might be eventually sent to Israel because two of the victims were Israeli citizens. He was arrested May 30 following a routine customs search at the Marseille bus station that turned up weapons similar to those used during the attack. Surveillance footage from the scene shows a young man in a baseball cap firing a Kalashnikov automatic rifle.

Nemmouche is known to have converted to a radical strain of Islam during a previous stint in prison, and to have traveled to Syria to fight with jihadists in the civil war after completing his sentence. The French court ruled that the trial should take place in Belgium because the crime involved “killings with a terrorist connotation.”

The attack left three dead on the scene: an Israeli couple and a French museum volunteer. As artnet News reported earlier this month, the fourth victim, a 23-year-old museum employee, died from his wounds on June 6.

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