Paris attacks: Wednesday’s developments
Here are the latest developments in the investigation of the deadly Paris terror attacks:
• Police conducted three massive raids in the northern Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis, home of the Stade de France national sports arena, the site of one of Friday’s attacks. Two were at apartments; the third was at a church.
• Two suspects were killed — a female suicide bomber who blew herself up and a terror suspect shot by a police sniper, authorities said.
• Seven people were arrested; authorities did not immediately identify them.
• Police sources tell CNN the raids were “right on time” because the suspects were “about to move on some kind of operation.”
• The raids targeted the suspected ringleader of the deadly attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a senior Belgian counterterrorism official told CNN. The official cautioned that authorities weren’t certain that Abaaoud was at any of the locations.
• Five police officers were injured and a police dog was killed, police said.
• The raids focused on two apartments on the same street, a Paris police source told CNN. The raid on one group led to a raid on another group, the source said.
• CNN’s Atika Shubert reported five or six explosions at the scene. It wasn’t clear if the explosions were controlled or otherwise.
• Two Air France flights headed for Paris — one from Washington Dulles International Airport and the other from Los Angeles — were diverted to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Salt Lake City, respectively, after bomb threats, officials say. Both flights have now been searched and declared safe. It is unknown whether the same person called in both threats.
• As a growing number of U.S. governors said they didn’t want Syrian refugees in their states, President Barack Obama criticized them, saying he “cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for (ISIS).” The governors of more than two dozen U.S. states have said they oppose accepting any refugees from Syria. The State Department said it is taking the governors’ concerns seriously, but it remains “steadfastly committed” to bringing in 10,000 Syrian refugees next year.
• Investigators have recovered multiple cell phones at the scenes of Friday’s attacks believed to belong to the attackers, a possible break that could help unravel the plot and the suspected network behind it, counterterrorism and intelligence officials said. According to the officials, at least one phone contained a message, sent before the attacks began, to the effect of: OK, we’re ready. Investigators have found encrypted apps on the phones, which appear to have left no trace of messages or any indication of who would have been receiving them, according to officials briefed on the French investigation.
• Thirty-three ISIS members have been killed by French and other military airstrikes in the last 72 hours, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based monitoring group, said Wednesday. “Dozens of ISIS leaders and their families” are moving from Raqqa, ISIS’ self-proclaimed capital, in northern Syria, toward the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the Observatory said.
• German officials said they haven’t made any arrests or found any explosives at a stadium in Hannover, Germany, that was evacuated just before a friendly match between Germany and the Netherlands on Tuesday. Officials canceled the match after police uncovered “serious plans for explosives.”
• The France-England soccer friendly kicked off under tight security at Wembley Stadium in London. Players and fans united to sing the French national anthem, followed by a minute of silence.
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Republished by the Law Office of Scott A. Ferris, P.A.