Trial of November 13: the mysterious trip of Mohamed Abrini to England

Mohamed Abrini, "the man in the hat", on November 2, 2021 during his interrogation at the November 13 trial.

He should have been blown up at Brussels airport in March 2016, and also participated in the organization of the attacks in France.


Text by: RFI Follow

2 min

At the trial of the attacks of November 13, 2015, the court continues to hear from Belgian police officers this week.

This Tuesday, November 30, an investigator came to talk about Mohamed Abrini, " 

the man in the hat

 ", and the mysterious trip he made to England in July 2015.


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Marine de La Moissonnière, 

from RFI's France service

In prison, learning of the death of his brother killed in the ranks of the Islamic State group, 

Mohamed Abrini

has only one obsession: to go to Syria.

As soon as he is released, he flies to Turkey and crosses the border.

He stays there for ten days, goes to his brother's grave, spends time with an old friend, Abdelhamid Abaoud, the operational chief of the November 13 attacks.

Abdelhamid Abaoud does not tell him about his plans, assures Mohamed Abrini, but gives him a mission: to go to England to collect money.

To do this, he gives her 2,000 dollars.

Mohamed Abrini does so. 

In Manchester as a simple football supporter

Here he is in Birmingham, at the beginning of July, where he recovers around 3,500 euros, then in Manchester where he goes to the football stadium as a simple supporter, he assures the Belgian police.

Was he not there rather to make locations for a future attack?

In any case, an audio message found in a computer of the terrorists

of the Brussels attacks

mentions the abandonment of a plan to attack in England.

Why have you taken so many risks to bring back 3,500 euros when he had received 2,000 dollars for this trip, asks the Belgian investigator who does not have the answer?

And where did this money go?

Mohamed d'Abrini's statements on this subject have constantly fluctuated.

It will not be heard until January.

Read also: Trial of November 13, week 12: the anonymity of Belgian investigators is controversial [Interview]


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  • Trial of the November 13 attacks

  • France

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  • Paris attacks